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What Are My Options if I Believe My Child Is at Risk?

If you believe your child is at risk, New Jersey law will protect them. Continue reading and reach out to our firm today to learn more and speak with one of our Morris County NJ divorce lawyers.

How does New Jersey protect children who are in danger?

In New Jersey, if you have a reasonable belief that your child has suffered abuse of any kind, then you must report the information you have to the State Central Registry (SCR). You don’t need evidence to report the suspected abuse. This is very significant because if it’s later found that you suspected and failed to report the abuse, then under state law, you can be deemed a “disorderly person.”

Can I get my former spouse’s visitation rights terminated?

If you see yourself in the unfortunate situation of not being sure that your child is safe with their other parent, there are many steps you can take to end their visitation rights in the event that you show just cause. By speaking with a skilled family law attorney at Smedley Law Group, you will be able to decide what options you have, as each family’s situation is special.

The first step will be to truthfully evaluate if you are just annoyed or upset at your ex’s thoughtless actions. No parent is perfect, and your ex will never fully meet your high standards. As long as you are certain that your circumstances are not encouraged by your negative feelings for your ex, the next step will be gathering proof that your ex should not be left alone with your children.

In the state of New Jersey, there are essentially a few ways to have a parent declared unfit. In order to do so, you must demonstrate that the child has been injured in some way (not necessarily physically) but also that the parent:

  • is “grossly immoral”
  • doesn’t act to protect or maintain the child’s health
  • doesn’t adequately provide for the child’s education
  • has committed actions that risk the child’s life or well-being

How can I obtain evidence demonstrating that my former spouse is an unfit parent?

It is not always easy to have a parent declared unfit. It is important to recognize that New Jersey courts typically like to keep their children with their parents unless it’s necessary to remove them from the home. Everyone involved, from judges to attorneys, may be suspect of accusations because it’s common to have declarations made, especially in a contentious divorce.

Most people assume that just because their ex is raising the child differently than they would, this includes being unfit. Rather, the court will need evidence that the child has suffered physically or mentally because of the parent’s efforts.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.