It is one thing to want sole custody rights of your child for selfish reasons. But it is another thing if you want to keep your child away from their other parent with a history of domestic violence. You likely cannot stomach the idea of leaving your child in their care knowing that they may get hurt and that you cannot be there to fend for them. Read on to discover whether a history of domestic violence can impact a child custody decision and how an experienced Morristown domestic violence lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can serve as a layer of protection for your child.
Can a history of domestic violence impact child custody rights?
The short answer is, yes, a history of domestic violence may impact your former spouse’s chances of being granted custody rights over your child. This is especially the case if records show that these incidents have been against your child. This is because the New Jersey family court may equate a history of domestic violence with parental unfitness. Meaning, they may assume that your child will be placed in immediate danger if your former spouse is granted as little as supervised visitation rights.
If you are claiming domestic violence, you must submit certain pieces of proof to show that such domestic violence incidents have occurred in the past. For example, you may present copies of police reports, pictures and videos of personal injuries, oral and written witness testimonies, copies of doctor’s notes, copies of medical bills, and more. In the end, the court may make a custody decision that works in the best interest of your child.
What else can impact child custody rights?
Without further ado, below are other circumstances in which the New Jersey family court may consider your former spouse to be parentally unfit:
- Your former spouse has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Your former spouse has a history of going in and out of mental institutions.
- Your former spouse has a history of going in and out of prison.
- Your former spouse has a history of abandoning or neglecting your child while under their watch.
- Your former spouse has a history of DUIs received while your child was under their watch.
Of note, it is not enough to simply say that your former spouse is parentally unfit. Rather, you must provide a sufficient amount of evidence for the court. With all that being said, you must understand that there are laws in place to protect you and your child in a situation like this. So please do you and your child the favor of retaining the services of a competent Morristown family law attorney at Graves Andrews, LLC today.