Non-Custodial Parents and Child Welfare Cases

Non-Custodial Parents and Child Welfare Cases

Support During a Time of Need

When a custodial parent is involved in a child welfare proceeding, child welfare workers may turn to the non-custodial parent to identify a placement for the child. It is often in the best interests of the child to be placed with the non-offending parent as opposed to a foster family, as long as it is safe to do so.

The role of the non-custodial parent in child welfare proceedings will depend on his or her ability to be a positive presence in the child’s life. The non-custodial parent can help the custodial parent provide a safer home for the child by contributing resources. He or she can also act as temporary caretaker, so the child does not need foster placement. The non-custodial parent can also contribute to the child’s life by spending more time with the child while in foster placement.

Non-Custodial Care

In some cases, the non-custodial parent may be able to seek custody if the custodial parent is under investigation for child abuse or neglect. To do this, the non-custodial parent must ask the court for custody and demonstrate why it would be in the child’s best interests. The court may grant him or her temporary custody for the duration of the child welfare proceedings or permanent custody. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), New Jersey’s child welfare agency, may need to carry out an investigation of the non-custodial parent’s ability to provide a safe place for the child to live before giving a recommendation to the court.

Even non-custodial parents have rights in child welfare proceedings. Legal parents of a child implicated in a child welfare case have the right to:

  • Notice of the proceedings
  • Attend and provide testimony at the hearings
  • Admit or Deny allegations against him or her
  • Visit with the child if it is safe to do so
  • Have the DCP&P make reasonable efforts to reunify the child with him or her

As a relative of the child, DCP&P caseworkers should first consider placing the child with the non-custodial parent before foster placement but may need to gather information first before taking this step. If you are a non-custodial parent whose child is in a child welfare proceeding, you can play a very important role in your child’s life. When a custodial parent is implicated in a child welfare proceeding, seeking custody can be difficult. You need to speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare and child custody attorney if you are seeking custody so you can make sure your rights as the non-custodial parent are protected.

Are you a parent seeking custody? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help you. We can help you do what it takes to fight for your child and your rights. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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