WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.
Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.
Legal Information: New Jersey
Updated: January 28, 2020
What options are there for legal custody?
If the court gives you sole legal custody, then you are the only parent who is able to make major decisions for your child.
If the court gives you joint legal custody of your child, it means that you share the right to make major decisions about your child with the other parent. This is true even though only one parent has physical custody (your child lives with only one parent). With joint legal custody, both parents have a say in major issues like where your child goes to school, whether s/he will have surgery and what kind of religious training s/he receives. Joint legal custody usually involves the parents talking with each other and making decisions jointly. Since cases of domestic violence involve control, fear and an imbalance of power, joint custody usually is not a good option.
© 2008–2020 WomensLaw.org is a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Inc. All rights reserved. This website is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). NNEDV is a 501©(3) non-profit organization; EIN 52-1973408.