Unless you also work in the law field you may not know the difference between legal and physical custody. When you have physical custody, also known as residential custody, of a child, you are who the child lives with. If they spend less than two overnights a week and some vacation/holidays the parent is considered to have sole physical custody. More than two overnights and it's shared physical custody.
Legal custody on the other hand is the ability to have input into the decisions that shape the child's life. These choices can range from healthcare to education.
Joint Legal Custody, is viewed as an "equal" share of custody. The word equal in this case does not refer to the amount of time shared with the child but input into life selections. Unlike in a situation where one of the parents has sole legal custody, in an arrangement like this, only one parent will be able to make legal decisions regarding the child. In NJ sole custody is very rare, the court would need to find the parent 'unfit.'
The courts will always try to put the child into the best situation possible. Their goal is always going to be stability. So as the child grows and matures, the courts may go back to adjust the custody agreement for things such as child support levels and visitation scheduling.
If you are seeking representation for a divorce or child custody case call today for a free consultation 800-709-1131 or fill out a contact form on our website for a no-cost consultation.We hope to hear from you today!