21 Main Street · Hackensack, NJ · 07601

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Bergen County / Hackensack
Law Office

Court Plaza South

21 Main Street

Hackensack, NJ 07601

Free Consultation


Bergen County Family Law Office Map

If I am Not Married, Can I Still Get Child Custody and Child Support?

If I am Not Married, Can I Still Get Bergen County Child Custody and Child Support?Though most of us may have been raised in a “traditional” family, these days many parents are deciding to remain unmarried but still raising their children together.  Much like in the case of divorce, in order to have a smooth relationship it is best for both parents to come to an agreement about such important issues as child custody, child support, parenting time and visitation.

While child support and child custody will always play key roles in any divorce involving the parents of children, what happens when unmarried parents end their relationship, or live in separate households and wish to obtain child custody, child support, or both for their children? These are serious questions that should be addressed with knowledge and experience. To be sure that your interest now and in the future are upheld and that your children are in the best possible situation it is best to consult a skilled and knowledgeable family law attorney.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our partners are not just lawyers, we are parents. When representing you through your child custody negotiations, we operate the way that we would want for ourselves and our loved ones; providing guidance, support, and a solid commitment to your child’s best interests. Our founding partners are part of the 2% of the active lawyers in New Jersey to receive NJ Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law certifications, and we have the experience and skill to handle the most complicated child custody negotiations.

Paramus NJ Paternity Lawyers

Legal paternity must first be established before an unmarried parent can pursue parental rights to custody, visitation, or child support. Paternity of a child is automatically assigned to the husband in a marriage as long as the child is born during the marriage, or a maximum of 300 days after the marriage ends or the death of the father.
In the case of parents who remain unmarried, extra steps must be taken in order for a father to be legally recognized as the father of a child. Specifically, paternity can be granted to an unmarried father by:
  • acknowledgement by the father of his paternity in writing to the New Jersey State Registrar
  • adding the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate by the mother

If neither of these occur, one of the parents will need to file a paternity case to establish the legal parenthood of an unmarried adult. Most paternity cases will then be decided through DNA testing.

Unmarried Parent Child Custody Lawyers Fort Lee NJ

Each parent is given equal standing and consideration when reaching any child custody decision in New Jersey. New Jersey family courts hold the belief that it is important for children to develop a strong a relationship with each of their parents as possible after a divorce, or following the ending of a non-marital relationship.
Moreover, all child custody and visitation matters are decided based on what is in the best interests of the child or children involved according to the court. However, parents can also create their own custody and visitation agreement outside of the courts, although it is recommended that this still be done with the help of an attorney with experience and strong negotiation skills.  It is important to remember that such an agreement will only be considered legal if a family court judge finds that this agreement does in fact account for the child’s best interests.

Child Support for Unmarried Parents in Bergen County

Parents are always legally required to financially support their children, whether they have been married to the child’s other parent or not. When parents have different income levels or if one parent bears the majority of the financial costs of child care, a family law court requires that the other parent pay child support.

The court decides on the amount of child support based on a several factors, including:

  • income of each parent
  • the amount each parent spends on housing, health care and other necessary expenses
  • cost of raising the child, including medical bills and school tuition

Courts can modify a child support order if the child’s needs change or the parent’s income. A parent with custody can sue the other parent for court-ordered child support when a parent refuses to pay child support voluntarily. This can result in criminal prosecution of the “deadbeat” parent..

Contact Our Hackensack Non-Marital Custody and Support Attorneys Today

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience handling child custody, child visitation, child support as well as child support modification matters of all kinds across Ridgewood, Fort Lee, Teaneck, Hackensack, and the greater Bergen County area.

By practicing exclusively on divorce and family law, our attorneys can focus on the issues that are most important to you and your family, and provide you with the experienced, effective and compassionate legal service you deserve when it comes to your parental, financial and legal future.

To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your child support agreement, child support modification, or Cost of Living Adjustment, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 285-5985.


Do I Need a Lawyer during Bergen County Mediation?

One of the most common questions asked of our Bergen County divorce and mediation attorneys is whether or not a person going through a divorce mediation should hire independent legal counsel. As with the answer to most family law questions, the answer to this question depends greatly upon the specific situation. There are some divorce… Continue Reading

Annulments vs. Divorce in New Jersey

 Annulments have the dubious honor of being one of the most well known, but most misunderstood legal terms when it comes to divorce and family law in New Jersey. Unlike divorce, annulments may only be granted based on wrongdoing, illegal actions, or other circumstances which cause a marriage to be illegitimate. There are also key differences between the legal rights… Continue Reading

Dealing with Parental Alienation

When deciding any matter related to child custody or parenting time and visitation, New Jersey’s family court system uses what is known as the “Best Interest Standard”, meaning the outcome of the child custody matter needs to account for the best interests of the child or children involved, as the court sees them. And while… Continue Reading

Why Hire an Alimony Attorney in Bergen County, NJ?

Most couples going through a divorce will need to resolve issues such as the division of marital assets, child support, and child custody, and alimony. Alimony is a type of financial support from one former spouse to another which can be used for a multitude of reasons. Alimony considerations also have the dubious honor of being the most “free-form” of all of… Continue Reading

Co-Parenting During Divorce in Bergen County, NJ

For parents, divorce can be a difficult time when it comes to keeping their children happy and healthy. Children are incredibly sensitive and in tune with their parents emotions and may be experiencing their first major life event. While there is no avoiding some level of change, it is possible for parents to effectively co-parent throughout and… Continue Reading

Paramus, NJ Palimony Agreement Attorneys

When a married couple gets divorced, there is a formal legal process by which the legal complications of the divorce are settled. These issues often include the division of marital property, child custody, child support, and alimony. However, unmarried couples do not always enjoy the same legal rights during a separation. For this and many other reasons, many unmarried couples draft cohabitation… Continue Reading

Bergen County, NJ “Death Tax” Regulations

There are two forms of so-called “death taxes” in New Jersey: estate tax and inheritance tax. These are also known as transfer inheritance taxes as the assets of the deceased must be transferred to his or her beneficiary. The exact amount and nature of taxes levied against estates is determined by a number of factors… Continue Reading

What is a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney?

It may go without saying, but all lawyers are not created equal. When it comes to a divorce or other important family law legal issue, the future of your family may be on the line. So how can you choose the right divorce attorney? While it is certainly not the only consideration, selecting a certified matrimonial law attorney might be a good… Continue Reading

Why Cohabitation Agreements are so Important in Bergen County, NJ

Unmarried couples are choosing to live together without getting married at a higher and higher rate. While this is a great choice for many couples and families, it also creates a situation where the legal rights of individuals may not be protected in the case of a break-up or other complicating situation. When married couples go… Continue Reading

Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark

New Jersey Family Law, Matrimonial & Divorce Attorneys

Bergen County / Hackensack Office

21 Main Street

Hackensack, NJ 07601

Morris County / Morristown Office

65 Madison Avenue Suite 420

Morristown, NJ 07960

Representing clients throughout Bergen County and surrounding areas including: Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bogota, Carlstadt, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, East Rutherford, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Hasbrouck Heights, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Leonia, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland Park, Montvale, Moonachie, New Milford, North Arlington, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Palisades Park, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, River Edge, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Rockleigh, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Saddle River, South Hackensack, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, Wallington, Washington, Westwood, Wood-Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, and Wyckoff.

We Can Help

  • Disclaimer: Contacting our firm via the internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information through this form.

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If I am Not Married, Can I Still Get Child Custody and Child Support?

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Though most of us may have been raised in a "traditional" family, these days many parents are deciding to remain unmarried but still raising their children together.  Much like in the case of divorce, in …

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