How Does Substance Abuse Impact Child Custody in New Jersey?

A parent’s substance abuse can result in the loss of custody. This can be devastating for both the parent and child. As a result, it is important to know what to do if this situation occurs. Read on to learn more.

How is Custody Determined?

In some cases, a couple will be able to come to an agreement regarding custody through mediation. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping the couple discuss and decide upon the best custody agreement for the child. However, this is not always possible. Custody can be an incredibly sensitive subject, with both parents feeling strongly about what is best for the child. If this is the case, custody may be decided by the court. When custody is determined by a judge, he or she will examine the following factors:

  • The parents’ ability to communicate, cooperate and agree regarding matters of the child
  • The parent’s willingness to accept custody and any unwillingness to allow parenting time
  • The relationship of the child with their parents and siblings
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The safety of the child and the safety of one parent from another
  • The preference of the child when of sufficient age
  • The child’s needs
  • The stability of the home environment
  • The quality and continuity of the child’s education
  • The fitness of both parents
  • The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
  • The parents’ employment responsibilities

Why Do Parents Lose Custody

In some cases, a parent will be deemed unfit and will not be awarded custody. Other times, a parent will have custody and subsequently lose it. The main reasons a parent will lose custody include:

  • Abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Neglect
  • Refusal to co-parent
  • Refusal to follow court orders

What do I do if I Lost Custody?

If you have lost custody, it is for a serious reason. New Jersey courts believe that a child benefits from a relationship with both parents and will work to make this happen. If you have lost custody, you will have to address and fix the issue. For example, if you have lost custody due to substance abuse issues, you may have to enroll in an addiction program. An experienced family law attorney can help you through the custody process.

Contact our Firm

We understand that those getting a divorce most likely have several questions regarding the weeks and months to come. Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. If you are getting a divorce or have any other questions regarding divorce-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our firm for a consultation today.