Many factors are considered by the courts in New Jersey during a child custody case. While each parent’s financial status is one of the factors, several others play important roles in the final decision. Finances, however, can play a role in how each parent approaches the custody case and if and how much financial support is ordered in relation to the case.
Factors involved in custody decisions
As courts focus on making child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child, each parent’s ability to support the child and provide for them is always considered. However, other important factors can help determine which custody arrangement might be best for the child. Some of the other factors involved in custody decisions include:
- The relationship the child has with each of their parents
- Each parent’s mental and physical health and ability to care for the child
- Each parent’s role in the life of the child before the custody case
- The child’s preference about where they want to live
- Evidence of alcohol, drug or child abuse, neglect or domestic abuse by one parent
Other effects of a parent’s finances on a child custody case
Parents’ finances might more directly affect how they pursue the case. Being able to afford legal representation and the costs and fees related to the case might impact a parent’s decision to fight for custody. In some cases, it might discourage a parent who has been the primary caretaker for the child to pursue the case. In other situations, a parent might seek to avoid some of their financial responsibility for supporting their child.
If you are worried about how your finances might affect the outcome of your child custody case, remember that courts look at other factors that protect the child’s best interests. You can also ask for financial support if necessary.