Understanding New Jersey Temporary Custody Orders

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce, when there are minor children in the home, is the determination of physical custody, as well as what visitation will look like. As a part of the divorce process, you’ll be asked to consider the best interests of your children, and to work out a plan that meets their needs. Until a final order is put in place, though, the court will need to establish temporary custody.

Obtaining a Temporary Custody Order

When there are minor children, one of the first actions the court will take will be to evaluate and rule on who has custody while the divorce is pending. Even though you and your ex may agree on custody, the court still has to review the arrangement to make certain it’s in the best interests of your child. The court will have absolute discretion to modify any proposed agreement or to impose its own order, based on its findings.

As a general rule, the court prefers to grant physical custody (where the child will live) to the parent who resides in the marital home and/or who has a history of providing the most day to day care for the children during the marriage. This provides a sense of stability for the child, allowing possessions to remain where they are, and allowing the child to stay in an environment that is familiar. It also provides the children with continuity of care if the same person who had been meeting their needs continues to do so while the divorce is pending. The court may be influenced by this when entering a final custody order, but the temporary order has no binding effect—either party can submit evidence at any point during the divorce to support a change in the temporary custody order.

Contact the New Jersey Family Law Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, PC

At Lyons & Associates, PC, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters, including domestic violence issues. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.