One of the most challenging and emotional parts of virtually any divorce is working out a child custody agreement. Both parents want to play an active role in a child’s life, but unfortunately, custody can sometimes make that challenging. That said, courts will consider a number of factors when determining what may be in the best interests of a child, and many parents wonder whether their child can choose what parent they want to live with here in the state of New Jersey. Please continue reading and reach out to the seasoned Union County child custody attorneys here at Ross & Calandrillo, LLC to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Is my child allowed to choose which parent they want to live with in New Jersey?
In short, the answer to this question is, “it depends.” A bit more detail: when courts determine a child custody arrangement, their primary consideration is a child’s best interests. Ultimately, they will consider a wide range of factors, but they all get back to whether a given arrangement would work in a child’s overall best interests. One of the factors they may consider in the state of New Jersey, but only if a child is considered old or mature enough, is whether the child has a preference. If a child shares a particular bond with one parent or has a valid reason to not want to live with the other parent (“they’re too strict” is not a valid reason), the court may consider their preference.
What other factors may come into play?
Courts will consider a multitude of other factors when deciding on a custody agreement here in New Jersey. Just some of the other factors they may consider are as follows:
- The specific needs of the child
- Whether either parent has a history of drug abuse or domestic violence
- Whether living with one parent over another would benefit the child socially, educationally, or economically
- Whether both parents can provide a safe living environment for the child
- Any other factor the court deems relevant to preserving the child’s best interest
If you have any further questions about how courts decide on child custody, or you are currently in a contentious custody dispute, our firm is here to help in any way we can. Contact Ross & Calandrillo, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with our dedicated New Jersey family law firm.