Me and my girlfriend just had a baby (3 weeks ago). She's had a really bad past involving her first born 10 years ago, rehab for drinking, child services and a felony for driving with her son (4th degree) endangering the welfare of a child. That was her past...I now have a baby with her..brand new life..but we argue alot. We are not married, but the baby has my last name and I have a great family and friends and work plus have a apt. She is unemployed, and argues alot. I will try to talk to her about seeing our son...but in case she gets all dramatic like she's been and tries to tell me never to see him...Can i take her to court and how much can i get...full custody? Even though i wouldn't do that to her..but Can I win something? =( im so sad without my little boy.
Thank you for your question.
You are the legal father if you have signed an acknowledgment of paternity, and that means you can petition the court for custody rights. In determining custody, the courts in New Jersey must consider the following factors:
"the parents' ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child; the parents' willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse; the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings; the history of domestic violence, if any; the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent; the preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision; the needs of the child; the stability of the home environment offered; the quality and continuity of the child's education; the fitness of the parents; the geographical proximity of the parents' homes; the extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation; the parents' employment responsibilities; and the age and number of the children. A parent shall not be deemed unfit unless the parents' conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the child."
(N.J.P.S. Section 9:2-4)
Under normal circumstances, the court would grant joint legal custody with primary physical residency to either one of you and visitation rights to the other. Your rights are presumed to be equal regardless that you are the father and she is the mother. The court will look out for the best interest of your baby when making a custody determination.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.
she had a ex who was pretty bad, was involved in jail as well so he gets to see his son every 2 weeks on weekends and holidays.... she has a record for dwi with her first born in 2008 ...also went to rehab for alcohol, as i met her in 2009 she changed but we argue alot...she like to argue in front of baby..and i get sad..and im no longer with her because i dont like fighting nor arguing in front of her 10 year old especially my new born baby.
will the courts look at her bad PAST which can help me out? I dont have any crimininal record...or anything for that matter. I have a stable job and a good sorrounding...I think 2 parents that are going to argue everyday is not good for my son nor her 10 year old...and I just wanted to see if i had a chance because she is actually locking the door on me and doesnt want to let me see my OWN SON! it hurts but you're saying that I do have a chance and that they would look at her record and mine and everything else for the childs best intrest? I mean this is the worst case scenario, i tried to work things out but she just tells me "ill see you in court"....lol she doesnt even have money, why is she telling me this? i feel like she's so mad at me not being there that she has to take it out on the kid. Anyway also how long does this take...give or take... if the courts gets started...? Thanks... I am happy that at least i have a chance. =)
The court will look at her past in considering whether she is fit to parent this child, particularly the DUI she had while driving with her other child. Of course, the longer ago the offense, the less relevant it will be to determinations regarding your new baby. Evidence of her character during the period of her life that she was parenting this new child would be more relevant.
The custody process can take weeks to months to years depending on the how aggressively each party fights. The court will usually make interim orders in the meantime while the parties fight it out so there is at least some order in place temporarily.
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