How Substance Abuse Can Affect Child Custody in New Jersey

Unfortunately, when a parent has a substance abuse issue, it can have a negative impact on everyone’s life. It can also impact a determination about the parent’s child custody. Please continue reading and reach out to our New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about how substance abuse can affect child custody.

How Substance Abuse Can Affect Child Custody in New Jersey

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

In the state of New Jersey, courts recognize two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will spend most of his or her time. If one parent has physical custody of a child for the majority of the time, he or she will be considered the custodial parent.

That being said, though every parent wants physical custody of their child, legal custody, in many ways, is at least as important as physical custody. This is because having legal custody of a child gives that child’s parent the authority to make critical life decisions on behalf of the child, including that child’s education, religion, and the types of medical treatment the child can receive.

How can a substance abuse issue affect child custody?

Typically, New Jersey courts would prefer to give a child a well-rounded custody schedule so that both parents can remain active parts of their child’s life. However, this is not always possible, for example, when it is revealed to the courts that one parent has a substance abuse issue. Oftentimes, a substance abuse issue will lead the court to believe that the individual is parentally unfit, and that with a substance abuse issue, he or she would not be able to look out for the child’s best interests. For this reason, if the court believes one parent has a substance abuse issue, they may award the other parent sole custody of the child.

That being said, if you are someone who has fought and won the battle against substance abuse or you are in the process of seeking help to resolve your substance abuse issue, you may be able to avoid the negative impact on your child custody and parenting plan. Further, if an initial custody agreement is already in place and consideration was given to your substance abuse when it was put into place, you may be able to seek a modification of the agreement. Our firm is here to help you through every step of the process ahead.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

We understand how confusing certain legal issues can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing individuals with the compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation they deserve. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients with various difficult legal challenges for over 40 years, which is why we know we have the experience needed to do the same for you. For experienced legal counsel regarding family law, litigation, business law, real estate, and criminal law, you know where to turn–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.