If you have a substance abuse problem or you believe your former spouse has a substance abuse problem, there is a chance that it could affect your child custody agreement. Continue reading to learn the different types of child custody, how courts determine child custody, and what effects substance abuse can have on child custody. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm to gain the services of an experienced child custody attorney who will walk you through the legal process ahead.

What are the different types of child custody in New Jersey?

Legal custody and physical custody are the two types of child custody in New Jersey. Legal custody gives parents the legal right to make decisions on their child’s behalf regarding medical choices, where they go to school, what religion they practice and more. Physical custody defines when a child is living with the parent physically.

In New Jersey, courts typically favor splitting custody as evenly as they can while allowing both parents to share physical and legal custody. This is preferred in the New Jersey court system because it keeps the best interest of the child in mind and alters their life the least. However, if there is a threat to the child or one parent is deemed unfit to parent their child, the courts may award sole custody to one parent.

How do courts determine child custody in New Jersey?

Child custody in New Jersey is determined by considering several factors including the following:

  • If the child is old enough
  • The bond between the child and both parents
  • Whether both parents can provide the child with a sufficient standard of living
  • Whether the child can be sufficiently cared for by both parents
  • If the child has a preference

What effects can substance abuse have on child custody?

The New Jersey court system will always base its decision regarding child custody on the child’s best interest. If one parent is proven to be unfit, they may be denied custody rights. One of the ways a parent can be proven to be unfit is having serious substance abuse problems.

It is possible for individuals with substance abuse problems to take the necessary steps to resolve their issues, resulting in them being able to keep custody of their child. If you are facing a situation similar to this, please reach out to our experienced New Jersey family law firm. We would be happy to walk you through the legal process ahead with our experienced child custody lawyers.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Rumson, Monmouth County, or anywhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.