Home > Mom's Life > Marriage and Divorce > Custody and Child Support > Custody and Issues of Neglect

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Custody and Issues of Neglect

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I'm involved in a contested custody divorce in New Jersey. I am trying to achieve custody of my five-year-old son. I believe I have the facts to demonstrate neglect and emotional abuse on the part of his mother. My attorney asked me if the situations can be written off as mere bad-parenting on her part, thus not necessitating DYFS involvement, as well as a prolonged litigation/trial. His mother works a rigid full time job, and cannot be flexible for our son's needs. She has also used our son to hurt me on various occasions.

Is there any documented resource which can help me present issues of neglect/abuse ?

A: From what you have written, I don't believe you have a documentable case to declare your ex-wife an unfit mother. This is very hard to prove to the courts; your opinion of her parenting skills is not enough to sway a court. These cases usually end up with opposing lawyers hiring psychological experts to support their client's position and the child being placed in the middle of all this anger and blame.

The only support/resources I know that may offer you strategies for your custody battle are the national networks of divorced fathers rights organizations. Key word an Internet search and it will probably yield results. Good luck.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.