The court will look at the following factors in deciding custody (which can be found in New Jersey Statutes at NJSA 9:2-4).  These factors are NOT in order of priority and the Judge can also look at other factors in his/her discretion so this is not all inclusive:
1. the parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child; 
2. the parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse; 
3. the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings; 4. the history of domestic violence, if any; 
5. the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent; 6. the preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision; 
7. the needs of the child; the stability of the home environment offered; 
8. the quality and continuity of the child’s education; 
9. the fitness of the parents; 
10. the geographical proximity of the parents’ homes; 
11. the extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation; 12. the parents’ employment responsibilities; and 
13. the age and number of the children.