Child Custody in New Jersey

This is a discussion on Child Custody in New Jersey within the Family Law Questions forums, part of the Legal Questions & Answers Forum category; My niece is 8 years old and has lived in my house with my wife and I for about 5 years in New Jersey. Her parents (my sister and brother ...

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  1. #1
    jrz
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    Child Custody in New Jersey

    My niece is 8 years old and has lived in my house with my wife and I for about 5 years in New Jersey. Her parents (my sister and brother in law) rented the downstairs portion of our house and the 3 of them resided there. My wife and I provided many of the basic essentials for the child over the years. The parents have now decided to seperate. The mother (my sister) has moved into a new place (this past May) and the father still rents the downstairs. My niece has since moved to my mothers house (1 town over)to start the school year and as soon as an addition is done being built (around December 15th) My wife, my child and myself are buying that house and moving there to continue providing and offering stability along with the grandmother (my mother). The mother(my sister) is willing to allow me to adopt my niece but the father will not sign her over.

    The father makes very little money, all off the books, and has 2 other kids with 2 other women which he does not provide for at all. He does pay some child support for one of the other daughters but I believe he is behind with his payments. The other one he does not provide anything for. Sadly, the one he is supposed to pay for he does not talk to and hasn't for about 13 years or so. He has been convicted of a felony but that was about 20 years ago. However, he still does smoke pot on a somewhat consistant basis. He also will have no where to live comes January as he has no money or credit to get an apartment.

    Is there anything we can do to make sure he doesn't just take her and run with her? What rights do my wife, the grandmother and myself have? She has been like a daughter to us for years and really we just want to make sure she is taken care of. The mother is willing to do anything to help us get parental rights of my neice it is just the father standing in the way. Furthermore, we really don't want to alienate either parent from the child as we all kind of agree it is bad for her to not see the real parents as she has known them all of her life and doesn't deserve to be abandoned.


  2. #2
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    This is a very difficult situation. It is possible to have the fathers parental rights terminated. You can read more about the termination of parental rights in NJ here - LSNJLAW - F. What Are the Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights?
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  3. #3
    The Only Man That Can
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    You would have a very hard time adopting or "adopting" her without the father's consent. Now, note, this is NOT a legal opinion...it seems he is the kind of guy you can buy off. Read between the lines on that one.
    Legal Disclaimer: Answers to questions on this forum are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute Legal Advice. No attorney-client relationship is established through this forum.


 

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