Custody is an incredibly sensitive matter. Read on to learn more about how custody is determined and important mistakes to avoid making when it comes to a custody hearing.
How is custody determined?
Often, custody will be determined by a judge. In this case, a judge is working to do what is in the child’s best interest. In order to make this decision, the judge may take the following factors into account:
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- The parent’s willingness to accept custody
- Any history of domestic abuse and substance abuse
- The needs and safety of the child
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age
- The stability that each parent can provide
- The ability of the parent to act in their child’s best interests
- The work schedule and lifestyle of each parent
Common custody mistakes
During a custody hearing, it is important to avoid making the following mistakes:
- Failing to pick up/drop off kids on time
- Failing to adhere to your custody arrangement can have serious consequences. Often, parents feel that they know what is best for their child, but ignoring court orders will have serious reprucssions. If you believe that your custody schedule should be changed, it is important to contact an attorney, rather than taking matters into your own hands.
- Trash talking the other parent
- Speaking ill of your child’s other parent can be extremely harmful to your child and his or her mental health. If you badmouth your child’s other parent, this can be used against you in court. When it comes to co-parenting, it is imperative that both parents are respectful and work together to do what is best for their child.
- Posting on social media
- During a custody hearing, your social media may be scrutinized. Posting anything negative about the other parent, photos of yourself engaging in inappropriate activity, etc. can be used against you.
Why do parents lose custody?
It is not often that parents lose custody, but a parent may be deemed unfit if there is evidence of the following:
- Substance abuse
- Failure to co-parent
- Refusal to follow court orders
If you have any questions or concerns about custody in New Jersey, reach out to our firm to speak with an experienced family law attorney.
Contact our Firm
We understand how emotional and difficult matters of family law can be. If you need the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to help protect your right to your family, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced firm. We are eager and dedicated to helping you through this difficult time. Our personal injury specialists at Greenberg & Walden, LLC are standing by for a free initial consultation. Call us at 201-528-6928