When a New Jersey parent takes on sole custody of a child after a divorce, they have a lot of important responsibilities. This is true whether the parent is doing everything alone or they have an ex with visitation. For parents who still have an ex-partner around, one of the most important responsibilities is to treat the noncustodial parent fairly. This means consulting with them about important parenting matters and sticking to a visitation schedule.

In some circumstances, a custodial parent may need or want to move far away for a job or other important reason. Before doing so, it’s their responsibility to consult with the noncustodial parent about the decision. In this situation, a noncustodial parent has the right to initiate a change in child custody.

Making decisions that are in the child’s best interests should always be a top priority for a custodial parent. This means that the child’s health and happiness are put above all personal interests. Most parents already take this responsibility seriously, but it can serve as a valuable reminder in difficult situations.

Child custody is often among the most hotly contested issues during a divorce. To help ensure a fair outcome, each parent may want to retain a lawyer. If appropriate, a lawyer can help their client arrange a balanced custody agreement. Arrangements can sometimes be made in a friendly setting through mediation. However, going to court might be necessary when there are major disagreements between parties. These arrangements may be changed in the future if circumstances for either parent shift.