During a divorce, the most important thing to parents is making sure they receive custody of their child. While this is true, there are also many parents to children who are not married. Custody is very important in these situations as well. It is important to know that these cases are handled differently than when parents are married. Continue reading and reach out to an experienced New Jersey family law attorney in order to learn more about this process. 

How Is Custody Determined for Unmarried Parents?

Unmarried parents who want to obtain custody of their child need to be aware of a variety of things relating to New Jersey custody law. The state allows unmarried parents in these situations to enter a non-dissolution “FD” case, allowing them the right to the following:

  • Establish legal paternity for the child
  • Establish legal custody orders for a minor
  • Enforce child support or alimony payments
  • Create a parenting time court order for biological parents
  • Set grandparent/adult sibling visitation orders

What are Types of Custody?

There are three different types of custody arrangements that unmarried parents can obtain in the state of New Jersey. A popular custody arrangement is joint legal custody, which allows the child to live primarily with one parent. However, it still allows both parents to be involved in making decisions regarding the upbringing of their child. This can include matters such as where they go to school, their religion, healthcare, and more. In these situations, it is crucial for parents to fight for legal custody of their children at the very least. 

Another common arrangement is joint custody. This allows a child to spend an equal amount of time residing with both of their parents. Oftentimes, this is the most ideal arrangement for these situations. On the other hand, another type of custody is sole custody. This is when one parent has full legal and physical custody of the child. These situations are often rare, as the court wants both parents to be involved in the child’s life. However, it may be awarded in the event that one parent is proven to be unfit or a danger to the child’s safety. While this is true, it is important to be aware that the non-custodial parent can still be awarded visitation.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.