Can a father get shared ( 50-50) physical custody of 9 month daughter in NJ despite attempts by mother to prove him unfit ?

Asked 11 months ago - Jersey City, NJ

daughter is 9 month old, mother wants sole physical custody and wants to take the child to neighboring country. She is attempting to prove the father unfit by alleging him as an anger problem, is abusive etc. Eventually she wants to take the child away with her to Canada where she has extended family. A) How can the father prevent her from moving because she might never come back ? B) Does the outcome of the case depend on who files for child custody first, that is should the father file first asking for shared custody before mother starts making accusations and builds her case for sole custody ? C) what are the chances of the father getting shared parenting even though the child is less than 1 year old ?

Additional information

We are married for 3 years, staying together. I work full time while she stays at home, does that make my case weaker ? Can I be granted joint physical and legal custody specially because she threatens me to take the child away with her.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Aneliya M. Angelova


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . A father has the same rights as a mother. The custody issue is governed by the best interest of the child. In order to determine the best interest of the child, courts look at many factors and weigh them before making a determination. Don't give up easily just because you are the father. Schedule an appointment with a family lawyer and have a strategy how to proceed.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
  2. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Best interests of the child is the standard. Get a good lawyer...

  3. David Perry Davis

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . First, as the other answer points out, your rights to a child are equal. That said, the law does still recognize some vestiges of the "tender years doctrine" when you're talking about a very young child (under 18 months old). Yes, you can pursue shared custody (I'd look toward a day-on, day-off schedule, you don't want an infant that young away from either parent for long).

    Second, as has been previously said on topics of this level of importance .... some questions here can be quickly, easily, and accurately answered. Others cry out for getting a professional legal opinion and a formal consultation with an attorney who specializes in Family Law. You're in that second category. I can't strongly enough suggest that you meet with an attorney and go over your case and what to do. I'm not one to punt every question here with "get a lawyer". but think of it this way: If this were a medical questions site and someone asked what the proper dosage of Tylenol for a 180 lb man is, it could be answered quick and clean. But - if someone posted a question saying they had severe chest paid radiating down their left arm... you'd say "get to a professional ASAP." You're asking a question here that's the equivalent of telling a doctor you have chest pain. What you do (or don't do) in the immediate future is hugely important to the eventual outcome. The stakes are too high here to skip at least getting a consult with a professional.

    I'd also suggest noncustodial parents' support groups like: and . FACE is more active these days. Even if it's a long drive to the meeting (I think Mercer is the further north), I cannot stress how important it is for you to join. If you care about parenting enough to go to the trouble of posting this, then go to the effort of joining FACE.

  4. Brad Michael Micklin


    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . In making initial custody determinations, family court judges are required to consider the following statutory factors:

    Relationship of the child with his/her parents and siblings
    Each parent's ability to communicate with each other and work together
    Each parent's willingness to accept custody arrangements
    History of a parent's unwillingness to cooperate with a custody plan
    Fitness of each parent
    Geographical proximity of the parents' homes
    Age and number of children
    Child's preference, when the child is of a sufficient age and intelligence to make a decision (over age 12)
    History of domestic violence
    Stability of the home environment
    Needs of the child

    If either party makes an application to modify custody or parenting time, family court judges are required to consider any substantial change in circumstances as it relates to/affects the best interests of the children and their health, safety and welfare.

    Custody and parenting time are 2 highly complicated areas of family law. Family court judges are given wide discretion to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Given the significant and long-lasting impact that their orders can have, it is crucial that you consult with a family law attorney who has significant experience in handling disputed custody matters, including ones where custody experts needed to be retained and trials were held.

    Here is a link to free information that will assist you with your issue: 4 Key Factors Any Parent Should Know about Child Custody

    You should consider meeting with an attorney well-versed in these areas. I recommend you seek a law firm that concentrates in family law. This concentration allows the attorneys to better understand the issues and complexities of you matter.

    Additionally, below are links to articles and information that may assist you with your case.

    Good luck.
    Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
    The Micklin Law Group
    187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F
    Nutley, NJ 07110

    Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited... more

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