When Does a Parent Lose Custody Over a Child in New Jersey?
For many parents, their children represent their most precious asset. These parents will fight tooth and nail to keep hold of their children, even if it means sacrificing everything else. However, parents do not always have a choice over whether or not they gain custody of their children. Even though your child might be worth more to you than expensive cars or luxurious properties, the New Jersey court may take custody away from you.
Perhaps you are the non-custodial parent and you think that your former spouse should lose custody of your children due to their irresponsible behavior. Maybe you currently have custody of these children, and you want to know how to stay on the right side of the law so that your children remain under your care. Whatever the case may be, it makes sense to learn more about how this situation is handled under New Jersey law.
Who Gains Custody?
The beginning of this legal journey starts with the divorce. At this point, the court will decide who gains custody of the child. In some cases, the judge will award joint custody to both parents. In other cases, they will award sole custody to just one parent, while the other “non-custodial” parent is given visitation time.
Why Might a Parent Lose Custody?
Whether or not you have sole custody, it is important to understand the factors that can cause you to lose custody. If you are a non-custodial parent, these factors can help you understand when you might be able to win primary physical custody. As a parent with sole custody, these factors can help you avoid losing your child in the future.
- Neglect: A parent is neglectful when they fail to provide their child with basic necessities like food, water, heating, and medical care. Aside from being a factor that can lead to the loss of custody, child neglect is a crime in and of itself.
- Health: The mental and physical health of the custodial parent also plays a role in custody. If they are deemed to be too mentally or physically unstable to care for their child, then they may lose custody.
- Abuse: If there is evidence that the custodial parent is abusing the child in any way, the court will quickly take custody away.
- Substance Abuse: If the custodial parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, the court may also take custody away.
- Domestic Violence: If there is evidence of domestic violence within the child’s primary home, the custodial parent could also lose custody.
- The Child’s Preference: Finally, the child’s personal preference also plays a role in determining custody. If the child reaches a certain age and no longer wishes to remain under the primary custody of their current parent, the court may adhere to their wishes and grant custody to the other parent or guardian.
As you can see, most of these factors have to do with making sure that the custodial guardian is acting in the best interests of the child. If you suspect that the custodial parent is guilty of offenses like substance abuse, child abuse, or neglect, you need to act quickly.
Getting Legal Help
Reach out to Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law today, and we can help ensure that your child is in a safe environment. We can help you prove to the court that the custodial parent is not fit for sole custody.