Fathers' Rights in New Jersey

Fathers' Rights and Child Custody in New Jersey

When it comes to parental rights, fathers still too often face an uphill battle. 

Our Red Bank child custody lawyers focus exclusively on family law and are dedicated to protecting the rights of fathers and their children at each stage of the process. 

The good news is that courts have increasingly recognized the vital role of fathers in the lives of their children, and generally seek to include both parents to the greatest extent possible, provided it’s in the best interest of a child. 

But there are many steps fathers can take to secure their rights, and some missteps that can make seeking shared parenting more difficult. 

Child Custody in New Jersey 

Seeking early consultation with a Monmouth child custody lawyer is always the best course of action. The court recognizes four types of custody in New Jersey: 

  • Legal Custody: The right to make major decisions regarding a child’s health, education, safety and welfare. 
  • Physical Custody: Where a child lives, and which parent will make day-to-day decisions on behalf of the child. 
  • Joint Custody: Joint decision making and living arrangements. This can be advantageous in some situations, but issues can arise when decision-making authority is not carefully crafted.
  • Sole Custody: Limits one or more aspects of custody to a single parent. 

Father’s Rights in New Jersey 

Men have equal rights when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship with their children. Still, in too many cases it is mothers who are often given the benefit of the doubt when fathers don’t take steps to protect their rights at each stage of the process. 

Things fathers can do to protect their rights: 

  • Stay involved: While avoidance can be tempting until issues are resolved, remaining a part of your children’s lives is vital to protecting your parental rights. 
  • Living arrangements: Your lawyer can advise you based on your particular situation, but moving out of the marital home can be detrimental in some cases. Likewise, moving into substandard housing, or living with a roommate or new girlfriend, can create challenges when it comes to winning custody rights. 
  • Work: Leaving a job or otherwise attempting to reduce your income can backfire when it comes to child-support obligations. 
  • Dishonesty: Hiding assets or otherwise acting in a way the court could consider to be unethical can harm your standing. 
  • Morals and ethics: Substance abuse, arrests, termination of employment, or discourteous texts, voicemails or other correspondence with your spouse can also impact pending child-custody decisions. 

Each of these issues can impact the standing of either spouse in a child-custody case. But, rightly or wrongly, the actions of fathers continue to be carefully scrutinized. The benefit of the doubt is best won in the eyes of the court by careful attention to the details. 

Our Red Bank divorce lawyers focus exclusively on family law matters in Monmouth County and the surrounding areas, including Fair Haven, Little Silver, Middletown Township, Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls.

If you are dealing with divorce, custody or support issues, contact Dwyer, Bachman, Newman & Solop today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 732-863-2463.

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