Fathers’ Rights Attorneys in Bergen County, NJ
Protecting the Rights of NJ Fathers in New Jersey
New Jersey law is clear in its belief that fathers and mothers have equal parental rights and responsibilities when it comes to their children. However, even though fathers are entitled to the same parental rights and guardianship of their children as mothers in the eyes of the law, many fathers are still treated by their co-parent as the lesser parent, despite their loving devotion to their children.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, we understand the frustrations many men face while fighting for their rights as parents. We believe in the equal treatment of men and women as co-parents, and will protect fathers from what can sometimes feel like a stacked deck in family law issues such as child custody, parenting time, out-of-state relocations, paternity disputes, and more.
We have built strong relationships with many fathers through successful legal representation and we are prepared to provide you with this same level of effective and knowledgeable legal counsel if you are a father facing gender discrimination in any kind of family law matter.
Call our office to discuss your individual needs and concerns when it comes to your legal rights as a father in a free and confidential consultation with our legal team today.
Paternity and Fathers’ Rights
Before a father can be accorded his visitation and custody rights, he must first legally be recognized as a child’s father. In New Jersey, paternity is automatically granted to fathers when:
- The father is married to the mother at the time of birth
- The father was married to the mother at some point 10 months prior to the birth of the child
A mother can also give paternity rights to a father at the time of the child’s birth if both parents sign a “Certificate of Parentage”. This is a voluntary document and neither party is forced to sign at any time.
However, there are many situations in which there is no Certificate of Parentage and automatic paternity is not granted by the state. When this is the case, for a father to be accorded their parental rights as a father of a child, they will need to bring a “Paternity Action” to the New Jersey Family Court. If there is sufficient cause, a judge will order a genetic test to determine the paternity of the child.
Once paternity has been granted to a father, they can now seek their legal rights in terms of child custody, visitation and potentially child support as well.
Determining Child Custody and Visitation Rights, Are Men and Women Equal?
Once legal parentage is established, fathers have equal legal standing with the child’s mother when it comes to child custody and visitation rights. However, all child custody rulings in New Jersey are determined based on what the courts believe to be in the best interest of the child or children in question.
So while child custody courts are gender-neutral, or gender blind, they may not always award equal custody and visitation times to both parents. Child custody determinations are based on a long list of “best interest” factors, all of which are open to a great deal of interpretation and discretion by the ruling court, yet another reason to work with an experienced Bergen County child custody attorney during a divorce, paternity issue, or any other child custody matter.
Father’s Rights and Child Support
If a father has equal, primary, or full custody of a child, he may be entitled to child support depending on the income of both parents. However, many men do not seek child support due to outdated ideologies, or because they do not fully understand their rights as a parent.
Child support is an important way for both parents to support the needs of their children, so if you are a father with roughly equal or more visitation time with your children than your co-parent, you may wish to speak with our family law attorneys regarding your options for potentially securing financial support for your children’s needs and expenses.
Contact Our Hackensack Child Custody Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing fathers and their rights during divorce, child custody modifications, child custody enforcement issues, paternity disputes, domestic violence matters, and more.
We practice divorce and family law exclusively, allowing our 75 years of combined experience to be focused on the issues which matter most to you and your family. Our partners are not just lawyers, we are parents too, and we understand the importance of maintaining your legal rights when it comes to your children.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your legal rights as a father, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.