When a New Jersey couple with kids files for divorce, they must resolve numerous issues pertaining to their children. Long ago, family court judges often automatically granted child custody to mothers. Nowadays, this is no longer the case; a judge overseeing a specific case will grant custody to either or both parents based on the individual merits of the case and what the court determines is best for the children in question.
Dads who want custody should keep these things in mind
If a father plans on requesting physical custody of his kids, he will want to make a good impression in court. The court will want to see evidence that the father is closely involved in his children’s lives. Such a father will also have to demonstrate that he has a plan in mind for being a primary custodial parent, including space set aside in his home for his children, financial resources to provide for their needs and also an ability to provide for their educational needs, such as getting them to and from school and extracurricular activities.
Maintain a peaceful relationship with the children’s other parent
The court typically believes that children are best able to cope with divorce when they maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents. A father who wants to gain custody of his kids will want to show the court that he is able to cooperate with his co-parent, as needed. If a judge sees one parent being adversarial or rude to the other in court, it may influence the court’s decisions regarding custody.
If there is already an existing child custody order
If a New Jersey father is requesting sole custody as a modification of an existing court order, he must be able to convince the court that the requested changes are in the children’s best interests. The court is not likely to change a custody order if there is no evidence that the existing court order is no longer serving the children’s best interests. A concerned father may schedule a meeting with an experienced family law attorney before heading to court in order to be sure that he has enough evidence to gain the court’s approval of his request.