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No divorce-related issue is more important to a parent than obtaining child custody. However, child custody matters are complex, and if you have a substance abuse issue, it may become even more complex. That is why we are here to help. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable New Jersey family law attorney to learn more about child custody and substance abuse issues in New Jersey.

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

The two primary types of child custody in the state of New Jersey are physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where your child will live, and legal custody refers to your authority, as the child’s parent, to make certain parental decisions on your child’s behalf. Legal custody allows parents to decide what religion their child will practice, what types of medical treatment their child may receive, what school their child will go to, and more.

What do New Jersey courts consider when determining child custody?

When determining child custody, New Jersey courts will consider several factors, though the well-being of your child is their primary concern. Of course, in today’s day and age, New Jersey courts would prefer to split child custody evenly between parents, however, if, for some reason, they believe that it is not in the child’s best interests to do so, they won’t. That being said, some of the most important factors New Jersey courts will consider are as follows:

  • The bond you have with your child
  • Whether you can emotionally support your child
  • Whether you have the financial means to raise your child
  • Whether you live in close proximity to the child’s other parent
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • Whether your child is involved in any extra-curricular activities and whether you can take your child to and from those activities
  • Whether you can provide your child with a safe, stable living environment

The last bullet point is critical–if New Jersey courts have reason to suspect that you have a substance abuse issue, it may drastically affect your custody agreement. That is why if your former spouse is alleging as much, you will have to hire an experienced Bergen County family law attorney who can work to prove that you either do not have such an issue, or, if you do, that you are doing everything in your power to correct the issue and be the best parent possible, such as attending rehab or receiving treatment. The bottom line is that we are always here to help–all you have to do is ask.


Here at McNerney & McAuliffe, we understand how confusing certain legal matters can be, which is why we are here to provide clients from all walks of life with the experienced, compassionate legal guidance they need. If you require the legal assistance of an attorney to help you through a criminal law matter, personal injury matter, family law matter, or otherwise, you can turn to us. Contact McNerney & McAuliffe today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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