Can my stepfather take my brother away from my mom because I am smoking pot?

I need this answered ASAP please.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Family Law, New Jersey


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding whether your stepfather can take your brother away if you are smoking pot.  This all depends if your brother is the biological father or adoptive father of your brother.  He would need to have legal rights to your brother to obtain any type of custody to him.  For purposes of answering this question I will assume that your stepfather has these legal rights to him.

When a court determines custody of a child, the court uses a test called, “the best interest of the child” test.  The court will look at all factors in a child’s life to determine the best environment for the child to grow up and be a contributing member of society.  The court will look at the relationship the child has to both of the parents and will also consider factors such as schools, extracurricular activities, friends, siblings, and many others.  Within the consideration process, the court will make certain that the child can be safe in their environment. 

If your mother has custody of you, and you are engaging in illegal activity, such as smoking pot, then the court may deem this an unsafe environment for your stepbrother.  Additionally, if you are smoking pot and your mother is aware of this, the court may question her judgment as a mother. 

If your mother needs assistance with seeking custody, then she should contact a family attorney in her area.  A family law attorney has the expertise to guide her with recommendations to maintain custody of your stepbrother.


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