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Child custody cases in New Jersey can be complex and multi-faceted. Taking the time to understand how the law system works for these family matters can better prepare you for your own custody battle.

From the Hofmann Law Firm team, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about child custody and their answers:

What are the different types of child custody in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, there are two main types of child custody: Physical and legal. Physical custody, also known as residential custody, gives a parent the right to provide a legal residence for their child. Legal custody means that a parent has the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child. A parent can either have sole or joint custody, depending on if the other parent is involved. 

How do I file for legal and/or physical custody of my child in New Jersey?

To file for child custody, you need to submit an application stating that you wish to obtain physical and/or legal custody and your reasons why to the family courts division in the county where your child currently resides. If they currently live outside of New Jersey, the courts in their location will have jurisdiction. If you’re seeking custody during a divorce, you would petition for custody within your divorce case.  

On average, how much does a custody case cost in New Jersey?

Like other areas of family law, it is difficult to determine from the start how much your custody case will cost you. If your case is considered complex and the person you are fighting against for custody is in disagreement and wants to fight back, the case will last longer and potentially go to trial, meaning a higher cost. Other common expenses in a child custody case include hiring psychological experts and appointing a Guardian ad Litem who will determine what outcome is in the child’s best interest.  

What factors will a court look at when determining custody in New Jersey?

In addition to what’s in the child’s best interest, the court will use 14 distinct factors to determine the custody arrangements. The courts will look into the parents’ ability to co-parent and communicate about the child, your financial situation, where you live, past situations and conflicts between the parents and the children, and more. If the child is older, their preference is more likely to be the determining factor. 

How do I get primary physical custody of my child in New Jersey?

To get primary physical custody of your child, meaning they physically spend a majority of their time with you, you will need to file this petition and let the courts determine whether or not you are fit for this role and if it’s in the child’s best interest. The parent who doesn’t have primary custody is typically referred to as the parent of alternate residence.  

Can parents share legal and physical custody of their child in New Jersey?

In most circumstances, courts will grant both parents legal custody allowing them to both have a say in making major decisions on behalf of the child, which would be referred to as sharing joint legal custody. It is also possible for both parents to have physical custody referred to as sharing physical custody, as long as the parents live in proximity to each other and it will not impact the child’s routines and daily life. This would entail a court arrangement determining when and how long the child will physically stay with each parent.


Contact us today to set up a consultation with our expert child custody attorney!

If you’re looking for a child custody attorney in New Jersey, look no further than the Hofmann Law Firm. Keith Hofmann has the understanding and experience to help navigate the child custody process and will fight for your parental rights. 

Give us a call at 609.375.2049 or visit our website or learn more about how we can help you.