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Impact of Domestic Violence on New Jersey Child Custody

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in society and can have a significant impact on New Jersey child custody cases. When domestic violence is present, the court must consider the safety and well-being of the child when making custody decisions. In this article, we will explore the impact of domestic violence on child custody in New Jersey and the legal protections available to victims.

Child Custody and Domestic Violence

When it comes to New Jersey child custody disputes, domestic violence can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case. In New Jersey, the court considers the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. Domestic violence can be a major factor in determining what is in a child's best interests.

  • The court considers a number of factors when making custody decisions. These factors include:
  • Age of child
  • Health of child
  • Relationship between the child and each parent
  • Each parent's ability to care for the child

When domestic violence is present, the court will consider the impact that the violence has had on the child and the victim parent. The court may also consider the perpetrator's history of violence and any protective orders that are in place.

New Jersey Laws and Domestic Violence

New Jersey law recognizes the seriousness of domestic violence and has put in place a number of protections for victims. In addition to criminal penalties for perpetrators, New Jersey law allows victims of domestic violence to seek restraining orders. These orders can provide protection for victims and their children and can also impact New Jersey child custody decisions.

A restraining order is a court order that prohibits an abuser from having contact with the victim or their children. It can also require the abuser to move out of the family home, pay child support, and attend counseling. A restraining order can be obtained by filing a complaint with the court and providing evidence of the abuse, such as photos or medical records.

Impact on New Jersey Child Custody

In some cases, the court may limit or deny custody or visitation rights to a parent who has a history of domestic violence. The court may also order supervised visitation or require that the parent complete a batterer's intervention program before being granted custody or visitation rights.

Supervised visitation means that a court-appointed third party must be present during the parent's visit with the child. This third party can be a social worker, a family friend, or a professional supervisor. The purpose of supervised visitation is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child during visits with the abusive parent.

A batterer's intervention program is a court-ordered program that requires the abuser to attend counseling and take responsibility for their actions. These programs can help abusers understand the impact of their behavior on their family and learn new ways of coping with stress and anger.

Importance of Seeking Legal Help

Domestic violence can have a significant impact on child custody decisions in New Jersey, and it is important for victims to seek legal help. An experienced family law attorney can help victims understand their rights and options and can advocate for their best interests and the best interests of their child.

In some cases, a victim of domestic violence may be hesitant to seek legal help because they fear retaliation from the abuser. However, it is important to remember that there are legal protections available for victims, and an attorney can help ensure that those protections are enforced.


Domestic violence can have a significant impact on child custody decisions in New Jersey. If you are a victim of domestic violence or if you are concerned about the impact of domestic violence on your child custody case, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can advocate for your best interests and the best interests of your child. Remember, there is help available. Don't suffer in silence. If you have any questions about the impact of domestic violence on a New Jersey custody case, please call 201-845-7400.

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