Parents have a right to custody and parenting time whether or not they were ever married. Children have rights to receive support from their parents regardless of the parent’s relationship status. Parents can file for child custody and child support in the family courts and have a judge hear their case and issue an order. Or, parents can use an out-of-court method such as mediation.
In mediation, the parents work with a neutral third-party mediator to come up with suitable child custody and parenting time agreements. The mediator can also take them through formulas contained in the child support guidelines to arrive at an appropriate child support award. To determine which child custody arrangements might be most suitable for you and your children, speak with a family law attorney who can make recommendations based on your specific and unique situation.
Do you both expect the children to live with you, and do you both expect to participate in medical and legal decisions for your children? Then a shared physical and legal child custody arrangement may be best for you.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.