child custody nj new jersey

Domestic violence is one of the most tragic and delicate family law matters that any law firm deals with. For your own personal safety, you have no other option than to file for a restraining order against your ex. Unfortunately, you and the defendant share a child. So, what effect will a restraining order have on your ex’s child custody in New Jersey? If you are asking yourself that very question, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Monmouth County domestic violence attorneys today.

Will a restraining order change child custody in New Jersey?

Assuming that you do not acquire a Temporary Restraining Order under false pretenses, the court may reduce your ex’s access to your shared child during the negotiation of a child custody agreement or a motion to modify a child custody agreement. If the court finds that you are a person capable of such deceit, manipulation and vindictiveness as to obtain a restraining order to curtail your ex’s access to your shared child as a form of retaliation, the court may subject you to the same restrictions.

What role does a restraining order have in determining child custody in New Jersey?

Depending on the exact circumstances, the court has the authority to limit your ex’s visitation time with your shared child or deny it altogether if it finds that the defendant has, in fact, committed acts of domestic violence. When awarding child custody or modifying a child custody arrangement in cases involving domestic violence, the judge will consider the following questions:

  • Were the incidents of domestic violence aimed at the child, the other parent or both?
  • Does the violent parent continue to pose a threat to the child or the other parent?
  • Does the violent parent have a criminal record or a pending criminal case?
  • How many times did the violent parent perpetrate acts of domestic violence?
  • What injuries, if any, did the violent parent inflict during the act(s) of domestic violence?
  • What have any involved police officers or other concerned parties testified to?

What can the judge decide?

Garden State judges have the authority to order your ex to seek counseling, attend anger management or attend parenting courses with the intended goal of your ex becoming a more fit parent. Depending on the evidence and the judge’s discretion, the judge may only temporarily limit your ex’s child custody contingent upon their rehabilitation or permanently revoke his or her access to, and visitation with, your shared child.

Before you proceed, you would be well-advised to reach out to one of our skilled Monmouth County family law attorneys as soon as possible.


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.