If you are in the process of getting a divorce and have children, resolving child custody issues is a top priority. There are different types of child custody that may be awarded, including legal custody and physical custody. This will determine whether both parents are awarded joint custody or if one parent will have sole custody of the children.
The non-custodial parent will usually be awarded visitation. Visitation allows the non-custodial parent to maintain the parental bond they have with the children.
There are a number of factors that courts consider when making child custody decisions, including each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment and ensuring that the children’s physical, emotional, financial, and medical needs will be met. Depending on what is in the best interest of the children, one of following types of child custody may be awarded:
- Joint legal custody: This encourages co-parenting and shared access to information about the children.
- Sole legal custody: The parent who is awarded sole legal custody makes all major decisions related to the children.
- Primary residential custody: The children live with one parent over 50 percent of the time.
- Shared residential custody: The children spend an equal amount of time residing with each parent.
What Are the Different Types of Visitation?
Assuming it is in the best interest of the children, the court will grant one of the following types of visitation based on the circumstances of the case:
- Reasonable visitation: This type of visitation is a more flexible plan and generally means the parents come up with the visitation schedule.
- Fixed visitation: With this type of visitation, there are specific days and times that the non-custodial parent will spend with the children. If the non-custodial parent fails to follow the court-ordered visitation schedule, they may face legal consequences, including a change in the visitation schedule.
- Supervised visitation: This is generally granted if it has been determined that the children’s health and safety may be at risk if they are alone with the non-custodial parent. Supervised visitation allows the parent to spend time with the children in a safe environment while being supervised by a trained professional.
How Does the Court Determine Whether Supervised Visitation Is Necessary?
There are situations where it may not be safe for children to spend time alone with a parent. If there is a history of domestic violence, psychiatric disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, or other scenarios where the children’s safety could be at risk, the custodial parent may request a risk assessment. This allows the court to determine the visitation arrangement that is in the best interest of the children.
If a risk assessment is necessary, a licensed professional will generally interview each parent individually. During this interview, the parent who requested the risk assessment may provide evidence of how the other parent’s behavior has affected the children. The court will review the risk assessment and determine whether supervised visitation is recommended.
Whitehouse Station Family Lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC Assist Clients With All Child Custody-Related Matters
If you are going through child custody and visitation issues that need to be addressed, do not hesitate to contact our Whitehouse Station child custody lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC. To schedule an initial consultation, call us today at 908-434-1061 or contact us online. Located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, we serve clients in and around Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Whitehouse, and Tewksbury.