Child custody matters are often complex. When married parents get divorced, they typically want to spend, at the very least, equal time being a part of their child’s life. Unfortunately, 50/50 custody is far from guaranteed, and there are several factors at play when courts determine a custody agreement. One of those factors is substance abuse issues. For example, if your spouse is an alcoholic, you may feel he or she cannot adequately raise and provide for your child. While this is a valid concern, you should understand that alcoholism in and of itself is not necessarily grounds to have your spouse’s custody rights revoked. Please continue reading and reach out to a child custody lawyer in Bergen County from our firm to learn more.
Do New Jersey courts consider substance abuse issues when determining custody?
New Jersey courts will absolutely consider substance abuse issues when determining a child custody agreement, however, as previously mentioned, simply having a drinking problem or getting a DUI will not automatically sway a custody ruling. However, if you can prove that your spouse’s drinking problem poses a danger to your child or will prevent your spouse from acting in your child’s best interests, then it may very well sway custody in your favor. In other words, the difference between getting a DUI and getting a DUI with your child in the car is a significant one in the eyes of the court.
What other factors impact child custody in New Jersey?
The number one factor courts will consider when determining a custody agreement is your child’s best interests. Your interests come second–the court is tasked with ensuring your child has the safest, most stable living environment. Therefore, they’ll typically consider the following:
- Whether either parent has a substance abuse issue or has a history of domestic violence
- The geographic proximity of both parents to one another
- The bond the child has with each parent
- The role each parent currently plays in raising the child
- If the child is old or mature enough, whether he or she has a preference
- The ability of each spouse to support the child financially
- Whether the child has any special needs and which parent can best accommodate those needs
- Any other factor the court deems relevant to your child’s best interests
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 and knowledgeable legal representation they deserve. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients with various difficult legal challenges for over 40 years. 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.