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How Does Substance Abuse Affect Child Custody?

Losing custody of a child can be devastating for both the parent and child. Luckily, it does not have to be permanent. Read on to learn more about child custody in New Jersey and how substance abuse may affect your custody agreement.

How is Custody Determined in New Jersey?

New Jersey courts will work to do what is in the child’s best interests. As a result, a judge will examine some of the following factors when it comes to determining a custody arrangement:

  • You and your former spouse’s ability to financially support the child
  • Whether you and your former spouse can adequately raise your child
  • Whether you and your former spouse live in close proximity to one another
  • Your child’s age and health
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • If your child is old/mature enough, whether he or she has a preference

Why Do Parents Lose Custody?

For the most part, New Jersey courts believe that a child benefits greatly from having a relationship with both parents. As a result, they will work to ensure that both parents are present in the child’s life. But, this is not always possible. In some cases, a parent will lose custody if proof of the following is found:

  • Neglect
  • Physical abuse of the child
  • Mental/emotional abuse of the child
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Child abduction
  • Unwillingness to co-parent

If a parent is found to be unfit, he or she may lose custody, and the other parent may be awarded sole custody.

If I Lost Custody, Can I Get it Back?

As stated above, losing custody does not have to be permanent. If you have lost custody, it is important to reach out to an experienced family law attorney to begin the process of regaining custody as soon as possible. If you have lost custody due to a substance abuse issue, there are steps you can take. For example, you may have to enroll in a recovery program and prove to a court that you are sober. This may be a long and difficult process, but our firm is here to help.

If you have lost custody, reach out to our firm to speak with a skilled and empathetic attorney.

Contact our experienced Ocean City firm

Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. Not only is your financial well-being at stake, but in a divorce, both you and your children’s emotional well-being are at risk as well. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.