Divorce is a tricky situation for all couples, especially when children are involved. However, the fact that you are still united by a desire to do what’s best for the kids should encourage you to work together in order to reach the best agreement. After all, your child is the most important person in the custody proceedings.
Most children benefit from shared custody as this allows them to maintain a strong relationship with both parents. One of the big questions you’ll have is whether shared custody needs to be split 50/50. Here’s all you need to know.
Child Custody In New Jersey
Child custody is primarily split into two elements. Physical custody describes where the child or children will spend their time while legal custody covers the responsibility of decision making.
New Jersey is not a 50/50 custody state, but does favor shared custody which involves joint responsibilities and regular contact for both parents. This means that there is a preference towards both parents having a role. Therefore, the most common solution is called Joint Legal Custody.
However, it is possible for sole legal and physical custody to be deed the right option when only one parent is up to the task. Shared legal and physical custody is another option, and this is where a 50/50 split is most likely.
Shared Legal Custody In New Jersey
Shared legal custody on a 50/50 split means that both parents can make decisions and have 50% access. This can be achieved in various ways, including:
Split weeks where week A is spent with mom and week B is spent with dad.
Alternatively, it may mean having three nights one week followed by four on the next.
There are plenty of other ways to establish the 50/50 split, but it is a model that faces problems. Family holidays with either parent can be difficult while the routine is often difficult to find. Besides, parents might not be able to fit their work around a changing schedule. Moreover, the practicalities won’t always work out.
So, joint legal custody without a 50/50 split is more likely to be the right choice.
Not Using A 50/50 Share
The best custody agreement is one that suits all parties. It may be best for kids to stay with one parent in the week and another on the weekends due to their school commitments as well as the careers of their parents. Other splits such as Sunday-Wednesday versus Thursday-Saturday may suit.
A non-50/50 share still gives both parents a big say on their child’s upbringing while mom and dad each gain regular contact too. However, it’s a more practical solution as it offers more flexibility that allows parents to work together in order to find the best solution for everyone.
In most cases, this means having a primary residential custodian that will make the day-to-day decisions, but the alternate custodian will still gain equal responsibility in health, education, and welfare.
Ex-partners should be willing to work together so that the best interests of the child are the priority at all times. Whether achieved through 50/50 or other strategies should be decided on a case-to-case basis.