Although most of New Jersey’s divorce laws aim to support divorced parents when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships with their children, there are several instances in which certain issues end up disqualifying parents from having any legal custody of their children.
Although some of these common reasons include dangerous parental traits like abuse and neglect, there are many other reasons that aren’t so cut and dry. Our team of experienced divorce lawyers has seen countless child custody settlements and understand how much this part of a divorce settlement means to truly loving parents who may be dishonestly cast in a bad light by their partner.
Child custody is a major practice area for us, and our decades of experience have assisted us in consistently providing favorable results for our clients. If you or a loved one is currently going through a divorce and needs assistance in understanding what their options are in terms of child custody, don’t hesitate to contact our team so we can go over the details of your settlement and help you take the important initial steps towards solidifying your custody agreement.
The Process of Losing Custody
In order for a parent to lose custody of their children, the other parent must notify the court about the specific concerns they have involving their former spouse. Legitimate evidence must be provided during this notification in order for the allegations to be deemed valid, but of course, there are gray areas within custody battles in terms of what’s deemed as evidence.
If a judge determines that any behavior by a parent may be a threat to the safety of the children, then the court will conduct their own investigation into the allegations. An investigator will then look into the alleged circumstances and decipher whether or not the allegations brought to the court are true or not.
Reasons Parents Lose Child Custody
There are many reasons why a parent may lose custody of their child, but the following are some of the most common:
Abusing children in any way is always considered unacceptable in the eyes of the court, and there will always be a thorough investigation when these types of allegations are brought about during child custody settlements. Some of the factors that a judge will consider are if there are any bruises, marks or scars on the children that show signs of physical abuse.
It doesn’t really matter what initiated the child abuse, because it’s a definite cause for a parent to lose custody of their children. If you believe your ex has abused your children in the past, then it’s crucial that you notify the police and contact an experienced child custody specialist.
There are many other custody battles that don’t involve child abuse but do involve situations in which the child witnessed their parents physically abuse one another, and often times this abuse can be rather one-sided. In these instances, the court can potentially deny sole child custody to the abusive parent.
Every court will have the same opinion that granting an abusive parent custody is not within the best interest of a child, and there will always be significant considerations towards the overall history of domestic violence within the failed marriage.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Courts always look into factors like a parent’s habits towards controlled substance use. It will always be deemed detrimental to the safety of a child if one parent has shown a habitual use of alcohol or drugs.
Any parent that’s found to be addicted to a controlled substance will not be trusted by the court to properly raise the family’s children.
Court Order Violations
Parents must always respect the custody orders that are bestowed upon them in court, and any court order violations can potentially result in a parent losing custody. This may depend upon the language of the order, but any violation will never help when it comes to advancing a parent’s custody prospects.
Joint custody will always require both parents to make, and hold up to, important decisions regarding the family’s children. There are many instances in which one parent will make an important decision regarding the children without consulting the other parent, and this can end up being a grave mistake that leads to the modification of a custody order and the potential for the disregarding parent to lose custody.
Co-Parenting and Parental Alienation
There are countless instances in which one parent will attempt to manipulate the children in order to alienate them from their former spouse, and these types of ill-advised tactics can potentially lead to the manipulative parent losing custody.
Co-parenting is typically the best option in many rough custody scenarios because it provides parents who don’t get along a strict joint custody schedule that must be abided by.
Dealing with Parental Alienation
Parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to manipulate their children into fearing their former spouse, which can always be very tough for the targeted parent. Divorce is always a very tough time for children as they begin to adapt to a family structure that’s new and out of their control, but children do deserve love from both parents as they grow up.
It’s very unfortunate how some parents will try to pin their children against their former spouse, but it does happen. Here are some tips to help you mitigate any attempts at parental alienation:
- Don’t say anything negative about your former spouse when you’re with your children.
- Don’t be like your former spouse and imitate their manipulative, alienating behavior.
- Always reassure your kids that you’ll be there for them and love them no matter what.
- Don’t blame your children when they express hostility.
- Remind your kids of the good times you had together in the past.
- Be respectful of the visitation schedule that’s been created for your family.
- Consult an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney if things don’t get better with time and you need to combat parental alienation.
Contact us for a Consultation with an Experienced Family Law Specialist
If you are currently undergoing a divorce and subsequent custody battle, it’s crucial that you speak to an experienced attorney who can assist you in terms of helping you understand what will occur and how the process will unfold.
To schedule a confidential initial consultation, please call 210-880-9770 or request an appointment online today.