The most important factor in determining custody is what is in the best interests of the child. However, many people wonder about additional considerations that may play into a court’s decision, such as extramarital affairs or drug use by either parent. Additionally, as a mother, father, or other relative, you may have questions about how your specific relationship to the child may affect your ability to seek custody.
At the Williams Law Group, LLC, our attorneys could explain the court’s process of determining custody in Montclair and provide legal assistance in your case. Contact our experienced lawyers today to learn more about what considerations may go into these types of decisions.
In New Jersey, parents have a constitutional right to raise their child as long as they are capable of doing so. If a third party is seeking custody of a child, the parent must have some impairment preventing them from assuming custody.
Grandparents seeking custody must demonstrate that they are the psychological parent of the child, meaning that they essentially function in a parental role. A grandparent must also prove that being granted custody is necessary to secure the safety and well-being of the child. The experienced local attorneys at our firm could provide further guidance to grandparents petitioning for custody or visitation with their grandchildren.
Generally speaking, New Jersey courts are reluctant to grant sole custody to either of the parents. The reason is that both parents have a constitutional right to raise the child and make important decisions in their life. Unless one parent is deemed unfit, the court will likely grant legal custody to both parties.
In terms of physical custody, the courts typically look at what the child’s day-to-day life was like while the parents were together. For instance, if the father was more actively involved in parenting duties, it is possible that the court would award him primary custodial rights. This will depend on the court’s assessment of evidence or an agreement reached between the parties. To understand what your rights are as a parent and whether you can obtain sole custody, it is best to consult a skilled attorney.
Courts consider the moral well-being of the child when determining the issue of custody. However, extramarital affairs generally do not impact a parent’s right to have custody of the child. Rather, the court’s concern is going to be what impact the affair had on the child. If the child is emotionally distressed by the parent’s conduct, the court may enter protective orders to ensure that the child is not exposed to a third party that could be harmful. However, courts in Montclair and throughout New Jersey generally will not eliminate custody or parenting time because of an affair.
New Jersey courts have broad discretion in terms of ordering drug tests for parents. If there is a reason to believe that a parent has a substance issue, the court may order a test. However, there must be some credible basis, such as a past history of drug use, to make this request.
If one parent makes the request simply to harass the other parent, the court will not be inclined to enter that order. To determine whether drug testing is a likely order in your case, you should consult with child custody lawyer about your circumstances.
Generally speaking, both parents are entitled to spend time with and make important decisions for their child. However, the court will assess many considerations when deciding what is in the best interests of the child. If you are dealing with these legal proceedings after divorcing your co-parent, speak to an attorney about determining custody in Montclair. Call today to set up an initial consultation about your circumstances.