If you are a father who is now getting divorced, there is a very good chance that your top priority is retaining some sort of custody over your child. Oftentimes, fathers are worried that the child’s mother will automatically be awarded custody of the child based on past rulings. While in past years, courts have leaned more towards granting mothers custody of their child, this is no longer the case. Fathers have the same rights as mothers do. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable New Jersey divorce attorneys to learn more about fathers’ rights, how we can help fight for your right to raise your child, and more. Here are some of the questions you may have regarding the legal process going forward:
What are fathers’ rights in New Jersey?
If you are seeking custody of a child and wish to have fathers’ rights, you will have to prove that you are the child’s father. Of course, under most circumstances, paternity is automatically granted, the truth is, oftentimes, this is not the case. There are certain circumstances wherein you will have to demonstrate certain things, such as whether you were married to the child’s mother when the child was born, whether you were married to the child’s mother within 10 months before the child was born, or if you have a Certificate of Parentage that was signed when your child was born. However, if you have been denied paternity, you may have to bring a Paternity Action to the New Jersey Family Court. Generally, once you do so, the judge will order a genetic test that will determine whether you are the child’s parent or not. If you are, you will be automatically be granted legal rights to child custody, visitation, and child support.
How do courts decide on child custody?
New Jersey courts’ primary concern is determining what is in your child’s best interests. This means that they will consider whether your child will have the best possible quality of life if you are granted legal/physical custody. Courts will consider your ability to care for the child, to provide your child with a solid standard of living, whether you can take your child to sports or other extracurricular activities, whether you live close enough to your former spouse to exchange the child according to the custody schedule, and more.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.