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How does domestic violence impact a child custody arrangement?

When it comes to child custody, New Jersey courts are working to do what is the child’s best interest. If your ex has a history of domestic violence and/or you believe your child is in danger, you likely have questions about your custody arrangement and your options. Read on and speak with a child custody attorney in Brick, New Jersey to learn more about how domestic violence can impact your child custody arrangement.

How is custody determined in New Jersey?

In the majority of cases, a New Jersey judge will award some form of custody to both parents. This is because NJ courts typically believe that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents. However, custody can be a complex issue, and a child’s wellbeing is not taken lightly. In order to make a decision about custody, a judge will consider some of the following factors:

  • The relationship the child has with both parents
  • The parent’s ability to provide financially
  • The stability of each household
  • The child’s preference (if the child is of a certain age)
  • The parent’s employment status/ job responsibilities
  • Any history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Any history of domestic violence

What if my ex has a history of domestic violence?

If your ex has a documented history of domestic violence, you can be sure that this will be accounted for during custody discussions. In some cases, a parent may be awarded limited custody. For example, he or she may have the right to visitation, either supervised or unsupervised, depending on the situation. In other cases, the parent may lose their right to contact their child.

What if I believe my child is in danger?

If you believe that your ex is endangering your child, it is important that you contact the police, as well as your local family court. You may be eligible to obtain a restraining order, which works to limit contact between your child and his or her parent. Additionally, you may be eligible for a custody modification to ensure that your ex has less or no contact with the child. However, in order to be granted a custody modification, you will have to provide proof that your child is unsafe. To do so, be sure to take photos of any injuries your child has sustained, write down any off behavior your child exhibits, keep any threatening or angry texts, emails, phone calls, or voicemails. If your child sustains an injury, it is important to take him or her to the doctor immediately. While this will help ensure that your child’s injuries are properly treated, it can also provide you with important evidence of abuse. An experienced family law attorney may be able to obtain additional evidence.

There is nothing more important than the well-being and safety of your child. Our firm understands this and we are ready to advocate for you and your family. When it comes to domestic violence, there is no time to spare. Reach out to our firm today to begin discussing your case.