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How Domestic Violence Affects Child Custody in New Jersey

domestic violence and child custodyPending or previous domestic violence charges can affect a child custody case in the state of New Jersey. The New Jersey courts may consider someone who has a previous history of violence or abuse to be a risk to children in the household, even if they have never touched, or harmed, the children.

Read more: Top 10 Child Custody Questions

What Is Domestic Violence?

It can be helpful to first consider what the state considers domestic violence. The following may be considered domestic violence:

  • Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal restraint
  • Terroristic threats
  • Sexual assault
  • Burglary
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal trespass

This is not a complete list of actions that can be considered domestic violence. If any of these actions are committed against a person that another person is dating, whom they have a child with, a pregnant woman, or anyone who is over the age of 18 who has had a child or has been pregnant, it may be considered domestic violence.
Many victims of domestic violence will file for a restraining order. This not only protects the victim from further abuse, but also their children. But domestic violence charges can make child custody agreements more difficult to navigate.

Types of Child Custody

There are two types of custody:

  • Legal: Legal custody refers to a parent’s legal right to make important decisions about a child’s life
  • Physical: Physical custody refers to a parent’s right to maintain physical custody of the child

Many factors go into determining who gets child custody rights and whether a joint agreement will work. Domestic violence is one of these.

Read more: How Do I Change My Child Custody Agreement?

How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?

Your judge will consider a history of domestic violence when determining the best custody agreement for the child. Previous charges of domestic violence will not only affect the child custody agreement, but also visitation rights. The judge will need to take into account the safety of the parent, as well as the children, when considering visitation rights and whether they should be granted.

Other Ways Domestic Abuse Affects Child Custody

Domestic abuse charges can affect child custody cases in other ways. For example, the judge may use it to award temporary custody of the child to one parent, at least until more details can be found. The judge may also request that an investigation be completed, or that the offending parent complete parenting or anger management classes. The requirements will vary, depending on the case.

If the domestic violence charges are severe in nature, then the judge may also completely remove the other parent’s custody rights. This decision cannot usually be reversed.

Contact a Family Lawyer Today

Navigating a child custody case is never easy. But, when you add in other factors, like domestic violence, it can make the outcome even more important. If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of your child, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer. We can help you navigate the intricacies of the New Jersey legal system, while also helping you build your case.

Contact a Cherry Hill Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Custody in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Cordry Hartman LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, Medford, and Marlton. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 235-4511 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 68 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.