Divorce is never easy, even if both New Jersey spouses are willing to peacefully negotiate the terms of a settlement. It can be highly stressful and complex as well, particularly if children are involved and parents are unable to achieve a child custody agreement. In some situations, a concerned parent might believe it is best for the children in question for him or her to have sole custody.
There are two main types of custody in divorce. Physical custody refers to where children reside after their parents’ divorce. Legal custody, on the other hand, is about decision-making authority regarding children’s health care, education and other issues. A parent may have reason to seek sole physical and legal custody or sole physical custody with joint legal or vice versa.
The most common reasons a parent might request sole custody are substance abuse, child neglect or domestic violence. There are numerous other possible reasons as well, but these three issues are frequently mentioned in petitions requesting sole custody. When the court receives such a petition, the judge overseeing the case will carefully review the contents and determine what arrangement would be in the children’s best interest.
If a New Jersey parent requests sole child custody, the court will want to know more. Any parent making an accusation of child neglect, substance abuse or other allegation must be able to show evidence to substantiate the claims. A family law attorney can advocate on a client’s behalf to protect his or her parental rights and to make sure proceedings focus on the well-being of the client’s children.