New Jersey Info

New Jersey Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals New Jersey Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum New Jersey Products Divorce by County

New Jersey Articles

Agreements Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Child Support Collaborative Law Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Domestic Partnership Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Sign In

Network Sites

New Jersey Divorce Support New Jersey Divorce Online

Sole Custody versus Joint Custody
What are the benefits of sole custody when both parents are equally fit?

Sole custody means that one spouse has residential custody of the child as well as the right to without any consultation to make all of the day-to-day and major decision for the child. The custodial parent as the right to make decisions on the child's health, education and welfare. The other party is only entitled to visitation.

In New Jersey it is the public policy that both parents shall share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing. See, N.J.S.A. 9:2-4. Therefore, most courts always encourage the parties to agree to a joint custody arrangement.

How does a family court define joint custody?

In the case of ,Beck v. Beck, 86 N.J. 480 (1981), the court stated that:

Joint custody attempts to solve some of the problems of sole custody by providing the child with access to both parents and granting parents equal rights and responsibilities regarding their children. Properly analyzed, joint custody is comprised of two elements - legal custody and physical custody. Under a joint custody arrangement legal custody - the legal authority and responsibility for making "major" decisions regarding the child's welfare - shared at all times by both parents. Physical custody the logistical arrangement where the parents share the companionship of the child are responsible for "minor" day-to-day decisions, may be alternated in accordance with the needs of the parties and the children. Id. at 486.

I have joint legal custody of our two children with my former husband. However…

I am their primary caretaker. What special legal rights do I have with regard to the children by being the primary caretaker?

It is important to emphasize that a primary caretaker has many special rights with regard to the children even if a joint custodial arrangement is agreed to.

  • Religious IssuesFeldman v. Feldman, 378 N.J. Super. 83 (App. Div. 2005), the court was faced with the issue of the primary caretaker's role to make post-divorce decisions as to the children's religious upbringing. The Feldman court held that the primary caretaker has the sole authority to decide the religious upbringing of the children. The court further held that the secondary caretaker shall not enroll the children in training and education classes for programs in a different religion over the primary caretaker's objection when exercising visitation rights. The secondary caretaker was only permitted to take the children to his or her religious services during his or her time.
  • Relocation Cases. In a relocation case the primary caretaker is granted a favorable position. See, Shea v. Shea, 384 N.J. Super. (Ch. Div. 2005).
  • Medical Decisions. In the case of Brzozowski v. Brzozowski, 265 N.J. Super. 141 (Ch. Div. 1993), the court granted the residential parent with the sole authority to have the child undertake non-emergency surgery.
  • Name Change Decisions. In the case of Gubernat v. Derember, 140 N.J. 120 (1995), the court held that there is a presumption that parents who exercise primary physical custody or sole legal custody should determine the name of the child.

Was this helpful? Like our site & let us know.

Related Articles

Start New Jersey Divorce Start Your New Jersey Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
New Jersey Divorce Find New Jersey Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
New Jersey Divorce Products, Services and Solutions New Jersey Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
New Jersey Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class New Jersey Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free New Jersey Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
In order for permanent alimony to be awarded in New Jersey, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and one spouse must have become economically dependent on the other. This type of alimony allows the obligee to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed for the duration of the obligor's lifetime (unless the obligee remarries).
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Start Your Divorce File for a New Jersey Divorce


Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your New Jersey Divorce


Support Forum New Jersey Support Forum

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site