9:2-3. Custody of child of parents living separately; action in Superior Court; powers of court; judgments; temporary custody; exclusion from hearing; records not open to public inspection
When the parents of a minor child live separately, or are about to do so, the Superior Court, in an action brought by either parent, shall have the same power to make judgments or orders concerning care, custody, education and maintenance as concerning a minor child whose parents are divorced. Until the court determines the final custody of the minor child and unless the parties agree otherwise, the court shall determine temporary custody based upon the best interests of the child with due regard to the caretaking arrangement that previously existed. No child shall be taken forcibly or against the will of the parent having custody by the other parent without a court order. If the child has not, at the time of the commencement of the action, reached the age of 16 years, and if it is represented to the court by affidavit or under oath that evidence will be adduced involving the moral turpitude of either parent, or of the minor child, or that evidence will be adduced which may reflect upon the good reputation or social standing of the child, then the court shall admit to the hearing of such case only such persons as are directly interested in the matter then being heard. The records of such proceedings, including all papers filed with the court, shall be withheld from indiscriminate public inspection, but shall be open to inspection by the parents, or their attorneys, and to no other person except by order of the court made for that purpose.