Parents who go through a divorce often worry about the future of their children. This can include matters of custody. When handling these matters, there are often many misconceptions that a mother is awarded custody more than a father is. However, this is not always the case, as fathers are just as entitled to parental rights as mothers are. Fathers who wish to fight for these rights should retain the services of an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.
What are Father’s Rights?
When a father wants to obtain rights to their child, the first step in doing so is to prove that they are the child’s biological father. Sometimes, fathers may be automatically granted paternity. On the other hand, some may be required to fight in order to establish it. Fathers who were married to the child’s mother during the 10-month period before the child was born are automatically given paternity. In some cases, parents can sign a Certificate of Parentage when this child is born, which allows a parent to obtain rights to their child.
If a father is not automatically granted paternity, they must bring a Paternity Action to the Family Court. With this, a judge can order a genetic test that determines if they are the child’s parent or not. If they are established as the parent, they will be granted legal rights to their child. This includes child custody, child support, and visitation rights.
Types of Custody in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are different types of custody that a father can be awarded. This varies depending on the case. If they obtain physical custody, it allows the child to live with and spend the majority of their time with them. On the other hand, obtaining legal custody allows them to be involved in making decisions regarding the upbringing of their child. This can include healthcare matters, schooling, religion, and more. It is important, during custody cases, that a father fights for legal custody at the very least.
How Do Courts Determine Custody?
Custody decisions are taken very seriously by the court. It is because of this that judges are required to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. This can be determined by considering the following factors:
- Your relationship with your child
- Your relationship with your former spouse
- If you are seeking custody with honest intentions
- The stability you can provide your child
- Your child’s needs
- Your child’s preference if they are of sufficient age
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.