Child custody disputes can be hard on both parents and children. Consequently, to minimize the psychological consequences of a custody battle, it may be wise to negotiate an acceptable co-parenting agreement. Drafting a comprehensive parenting plan may ensure the co-parenting arrangement is successful.
Of course, not all custody battles conclude with an agreement that is acceptable to both parents. If a judge must settle the matter, he or she has a legal duty to determine what is in the best interests of the children.
A multi-factor examination
Because what may be best for children can be subjective, New Jersey law gives judges 14 factors to consider when making their determinations. These factors generally fit into three categories:
- Each parent’s ability to care for the kids
- Each parent’s relationship with the children
- The children’s specific needs
A co-parenting arrangement
Judges in the Garden State tend to believe children thrive when they have two actively involved parents. If a judge decides shared custody is in the best interests of the children, you and your kids’ co-parent must commit to making the arrangement work.
Psychology Today outlines a number of strategies for getting the most out of any co-parenting situation. Among others, these include the following:
- Respect your children’s co-parent’s authority
- Prioritize your kids’ needs
- Resolve disputes before they become toxic
To boost your chances of receiving the child custody outcome you want, it is advisable to ensure your parenting style is in the best interests of your children. Ultimately, though, whether you end up with sole or joint custody, leaning into the arrangement is likely to benefit the young ones in your family.