The Details of Child Custody in NJ

father with child on shoulders

Most parents share joint legal custody of their children pursuant to N.J.S.A.9:2-4, which means they jointly make major decisions on behalf of their children. Examples include scheduling elective surgery, securing passports, relocating out of state, etc. The day to day decision making comes with the designation of the parent of primary residence status, known as the custodial parent, or the residential custodian. Irene Shor, Esq. has years of experience in child custody in NJ, and child support, and is happy to help you work through this.

The noncustodial parent is known as the parent of alternate residence and enjoys parenting time. Irene Shor, Esq. has years of experience in child custody cases in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, and throughout the state of NJ and is happy to help you work through all of your custody matters.

A Child Custody Attorney Simplifies a Complex Situation

When parents live close to each other and have work schedules and commutes that allow for it, the noncustodial parent can enjoy expanded parenting time during the week and on weekends so that both have substantial quality time with the children. Some parents share joint custody and joint residential custody. The important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each set of parents, children, and circumstances must be treated uniquely.

The best way to learn the right result for your family is to call custody lawyer Irene Shor so she can discuss your specific needs. There are 13 factors that are considered when the courts assess custody and parenting time, but ultimately it is the best interest standard that the courts utilize in making their decisions. The 13 factors include:

  1. Age and Number of Children
  2. Any History of Domestic Violence Between the Parties
  3. Child’s Preference, Should the Child Be of Sufficient Capacity and Age
  4. Distance Between the Parents’ Homes
  5. Factors Relating to the Child’s Education
  6. Stability of the Home Environment
  7. Fitness of Each Parent
  8. Needs of the Child
  9. Parents’ Ability to Communicate
  10. Parents’ Willingness to Accept Custody
  11. Relationship of a Child with Both Parents and Siblings in the Households
  12. Safety of the Child and/or Either Parent from Physical Abuse by Other Parent
  13. Quality and Extent of the Time Spent Between Parents and Child Before and After the Legal Separation.


Other issues that arise are a request for removal or relocation by one parent with the child(ren). The laws have recently changed regarding the appropriate standard to be utilized (Bisbing v Bisbing), and the courts are now considering the best interests of the child standard. The prior standard only required the parent of the primary residence to demonstrate that the move is not contrary to the best interests of the child, with the demonstration of a good faith reason for the move.

Strained Relationships and How Irene Can Help

When parents experience a dissolution of marriage or a breakdown in their relationship, a court may order them to attend co-parenting counseling to learn about the damage they are inflicting on their children. The goal is to educate and provide therapeutic intervention to enable them to be better parents. In extreme circumstances, a judge may appoint a guardian ad litem to report the best interests of the child(ren). There may be times when it is necessary for the parties to engage a parenting coordinator when they have no ability to reach agreements on basic issues. The parenting coordinator serves as a referee and can make determinations or recommendations to resolve issues

When one of the parents has suffered a breakdown of their relationship with a child, a court may require a parent(s) to attend reunification therapy. Irene Shor, Esq. has handled numerous child custody cases on behalf of parents and aggressively advocated for her clients. She has also served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem in different counties throughout the state, as well as a parenting coordinator, making her uniquely suited to deal with custody issues.