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New Jersey Child Custody Laws

When parents no longer wish to be together, the ongoing care of any children they may have must be determined. New Jersey, along with all other U.S. states and the District of Columbia (except Massachusetts), has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which helps prevent interstate child custody conflicts. In general, child custody laws dictate whether parents may seek joint custody, the rules for visitation, and the procedures for ordering custody. According to New Jersey child custody laws, grandparents may legally request visitation rights.

This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in New Jersey.

How Courts Determine Child Custody in New Jersey

New Jersey courts consider a number of factors when determining child custody orders, but primarily consider the best interests of the child. If the parents are seeking joint custody, the court will examine their ability to agree, communicate, and cooperate with regard to the child. Also, any history of domestic violence will figure prominently in any custody or visitation decision. If the other parent has a history of domestic violence or the court determines a need for precaution, they may be eligible for supervised visitation with their child.

Other factors considered when determining child custody in New Jersey may include (but are not limited to):

  • Interaction of the child with its parents and siblings
  • Preference of the child (if 12 or older)
  • Stability of the home environment
  • Fitness of parents
  • Parent's employment responsibilities

New Jersey Child Custody Laws: At a Glance

Child custody is a difficult and often stressful process for parents; the last thing you want to do is try to decipher the dense legal language found in most statutes. The following chart highlights the basics of New Jersey's custody laws in a more readable format.


Tit. 9 § 2-1 et seq. of the New Jersey Statutes

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?


Grandparent Visitation Rights


Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes (as long as the court deems the child old enough or mature enough to make such an important decision)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

New Jersey Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help With Your New Jersey Custody Case

Child custody is a very serious matter. Sometimes parents are able to work out an amicable agreement that puts the child's needs first, but child custody proceedings often involve conflict and can benefit from a legal professional. Find an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney near you today to learn more.

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  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Lawyers can seek to secure visitation rights

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