Brooklyn, NY – Courts use a standard called the best interests of the child to make decisions regarding custody. This is meant to help keep the child in a safe, stable environment with as few problems as possible. However, certain actions or negative aspects of a parent’s past may cause the court to doubt whether a parent can provide the necessary environment for the child to grow up. The judge has discretion to make decisions regarding the best interests of the child in each individual case based on the parents and their backgrounds. Because attorneys can help a person prepare for a custody hearing, it is important for each parent attending the hearing to get legal advice before any decisions are made.
Serious substance abuse issues
If any parent has a documented history of substance abuse, this can start to affect their ability to be financially stable, work a normal job, avoid criminal charges, and affect various other aspects of their life. Obviously, a person with drug or alcohol problems is going to have difficulty dedicating enough time to their children and keeping them safe.
Domestic violence and child abuse
New York law allows victims to receive a protective order against any abuser. This means that they need to physically stay away from the victim and avoid various other forms of contact. If a judge sees that there is a protective order in place or other previous problems with violence, they will likely believe that the person cannot raise a child properly.
Problems with mental and physical health
When a parent is in declining health or they are not mentally sound, it is unlikely that they will be able to take care of another person. As a practical matter, the judge assigned to the case may want someone who has a greater ability to care for the child to have primary custody, even if the person with health issues has not done anything wrong.
A history of neglect
When a family judge finds that one parent has been largely absent from a child’s life and neglected their duties as a parent, it is unlikely that they will receive multiple chances to form a meaningful parental relationship. This is especially true if there have been criminal charges related to neglect or abandonment.
Advice from family lawyers in New York
Elliot Green Law Offices is available to help people with child support payments, divorces, alimony issues, child custody disputes, and other aspects of family law. People who need assistance from a family attorney in the Brooklyn area can consult with the firm for legal advice.
Firm contact info:
32 Court Street, Suite 404, Brooklyn, NY, 11201