If my daughter’s father has a record fordrug use can he still be legible for joint custody?

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If my daughter’s father has a record fordrug use can he still be legible for joint custody?

My daughter’s father has moved 3 times with a year and also been charged twice for drug use. He picks and drops his daughter off whenever he feels benefits himself. He also expects me to buy our daughter clothes and diapers for his house because I get child support. My daughter now is also in daycare in my neighborhood. I wanted to know if he will be able to get joint custody?

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for your question regarding limitations to child custody and financial responsibilities of taking care of a child.  Your current situation, as described, is quite common, however, depending on your outcome could differ greatly depending on the state you live in, because family law varies from state to state.  That being said, when a court is determining child custody, whether it is legal custody or physical custody, it will examine custody in determining the best interests of the child.  Legal custody is the parent’s right to make decisions for a child, including education, religious upbringing, moral decisions, and health care dilemmas.  Physical custody is the actual physical possession and control of the child.  A court can award one type of custody to a parent, but maybe not another custody, or a court could award both types of custody to both parents, and this is commonly referred to as joint custody.

That being said, even though a court may find that you are more financially capable of bearing the costs of diapers and formula and food for the child, it does not mean that the other parent will not have physical custody of the child.  The court will still want to ensure the child has a physical relationship with the other parent even if the other parent cannot financially bear the same costs as the other parent.

However, in examining the best interests of the child, the court will examine the character of both parents, and this will include any indicators of drug and alcohol use.

If you need further assistance, you may find it helpful to contact a family law attorney in your area.

 


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