R.K. VS. F.K. A-4165-11T4Under the two-step process outlined in Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139 (1980), a movant seeking a change of custody must show a change of circumstances warranting relief to be entitled to an evidentiary hearing, but the judge must
The trial court also erred by relying on the Domestic Violence Act's provision that the court "shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by an award of [temporary] custody to the non-abusive parent." N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b)(11). That presumption, important in the initial FRO proceeding, has no application in a subsequent custody determination in a divorce trial, particularly once a change of circumstances has been shown. Rather, that trial is governed by N.J.S.A. 9:2-4, under which "the history of domestic violence" is one factor among several that the court must consider in determining the best interests of the children.