What You Need to Know About Substance Abuse and Child Custody in New Jersey

If you are a divorced co-parent, retaining custody of your child is most likely the most important issue on your plate. Unfortunately, if a substance abuse issue is present, it will most likely complicate matters even further. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Red Bank family law attorney to learn more about child custody in New Jersey and what role a substance abuse issue can play. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the two types of child custody in New Jersey?

The two types of child custody are physical and legal custody. Essentially, when a parent has physical custody of a child, it means that their child lives with them. On the other hand, legal custody awards parents the right to make certain key decisions on behalf of their child, such as where the child will go to school, what religion the child is allowed to practice, and what kind of medical treatment the child can receive. Generally, courts will prefer to split custody evenly between parents, however, there are certain circumstances that may warrant a different decision.

How do Red Bank courts decide on child custody matters?

The main factor when deciding on child custody terms is whether the decision is in the child’s best interests. Red Bank courts will consider many facets of your life when making this decision, including the following:

  • The bond you and your former spouse have with your child
  • Whether you and your former spouse live in close proximity to one another
  • Whether you are financially capable of providing for your child
  • Whether you can provide your child with emotional support and guidance
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • If your child is old enough, whether he or she has a preference

Of course, these are just some of the factors NJ courts will consider. That being said, oftentimes, when one parent has a substance abuse issue, this will drastically impact the child custody terms set out by the court, as they may view that parent as parentally unfit. That is why if you are someone with a substance abuse issue, it is in your best interest to seek help, document that you are seeking help, and hire an experineced New Jersey family law attorney who can work to prove that you are doing everything in your power to be the best parent you can be.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, please do not hesitate toΒ contact The Law Offices of George J. MardinlyΒ to schedule a consultation.