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Child custody in post Cleaver era

Fifty years ago, a typical family may have resembled the popular television family, the Cleavers, from "Leave it to Beaver." There was a mom, a dad and a couple of children. Today's idea of a family may look very different but the care and well-being of children is still a primary concern in New Jersey. As such, child custody arrangements should be constructed with the best interest of the child in mind.

Another aspect of family life that has changed from 50 years ago is the likelihood of divorce and also the number of couples living together, having children but not marrying. Couples who live together and have children without marrying are also likely to separate while the children are still young. In both cases, the stability of a child's life can be drastically changed.

Single parent homes are on the increase with the majority of those being single, or solo, moms. Solo or single moms are more likely to live in poverty. A recent study showed that about 17 percent of solo dads liven in poverty while the number for solo moms is closer to 30 percent.

Any family considering a divorce, or a split, has concern for their children. However, their ability to make decisions regarding their children's care for the long term may be impacted by the stress of dealing with the faltering relationship. A conversation with a knowledgeable family law attorney in New Jersey may be able to assist them in making the best decisions regarding child custody arrangements for today's changing family structures.

Source:, "Kids growing up amid changing family structures", Lois M. Collins, April 26, 2018

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