How Important is Financial Stability in New Jersey Custody Decisions?

Posted February 23rd, 2024.

Categories: Blog.

mother with child

Divorces or separations where a child is involved tend to be more complicated. Custody cases can become stressful and painful while you try to figure out what is best for your child. If the two parents cannot come up with a custody agreement that they are both comfortable with, the decision will default to a judge. A New Jersey judge will always prioritize the child’s well-being when making decisions of this magnitude. Which parent should be awarded custody will depend on the situation and abilities of both parents. One of the factors that is considered in custody cases is the financial stability of each parent.

Financial stability means that a person is living comfortably within their means. They have a steady income, are typically debt-free, have savings, and are responsible with their money. Raising a child can be expensive, so having a parent with financial literacy and stability is important. However, it is not paramount and certainly not the only significant factor in determining custody. If you are looking for representation during a custody case, contact family lawyer Mark S. Guralnick for competent and professional services.

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Custody in New Jersey?

Because the issue of child custody is so important, there are an assortment of factors that are considered when deciding who a child will live with, including:

  • The child’s age and preference
  • Each parent’s financial situation
  • Each parent’s living situation
  • Each parent’s mental and physical health
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • If the child has any special needs
  • Each parent’s background and whether they have a history of violence or substance abuse

Is Less Financial Stability a Disadvantage in Custody Cases?

If you are dealing with a custody battle and know that your child’s other parent makes a significant amount more money than you do it can feel disheartening to hear that finances are considered when ruling on custody. However, financial stability is not the only important aspect of this decision.

Each parent has equal rights to their child. A judge will observe every aspect of the parent’s and child’s life to figure out the best living arrangement.

Financial stability is only one aspect of general stability. If one parent can offer all the money in the world but cannot provide a safe and stable home environment or has a history of physical or emotional abuse, they are probably not the best person to have custody of the child.

If the higher-earning parent is not awarded custody, they can still contribute to providing the child with financial stability through child support payments. This is helpful if one parent lives closer to the child’s school and friends and can support the child emotionally but needs some additional financial support to ensure that the child constantly has access to clothes, food, educational tools, and more.

Hiring a lawyer will be beneficial in knowing your parental rights and making sure those rights are not violated.

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