Hackensack Father’s Rights Lawyer
Fathers in Hackensack often face numerous challenges when disputing their parenting rights. While the old presumptions that children belong with their mother and that fathers must provide all of the financial support for the family often seem difficult to overcome, those stereotypes are no longer legally in place. As such, it is important for fathers in Hackensack to understand their rights and how to protect them.
A Hackensack father’s rights lawyer could assist with issues involving custody agreements, child support, legal paternity, adoption, and other areas. Knowledgeable family attorneys understand the importance of having your children in your life and could fight to help you retain your relationships with them both now and in the future.
Both Parents Have Equal Rights
Excluding cases where paternity of a child has not been legally established, fathers enjoy rights equal to mothers when it comes to issues such as custody. In addition to taking a gender-neutral stance, New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:2-4 specifies that it is in the child’s best interests to maintain regular relationships with both parents.
Consequently, custody arrangements should allow for frequent and continuing contact with both parents. An exception for his could be made if one party demonstrates that contact with the other could prove detrimental to the child. As an example, if one party has a history of domestic violence, that factor may be used to argue for limited contact under strict conditions.
Child Custody Arrangements
Custody of a minor is split into two components. Physical custody involves issues concerning living arrangements, while legal custody covers major decisions concerning a child’s health, education, and general well-being.
Parents frequently share legal custody, which means both parents are supposed to have equal input regarding decisions regarding healthcare, religion, and schooling. A father’s rights attorney in Hackensack could help ensure that relevant legal documents provide measures to prevent one party from making important decisions without joint approval.
As a practical matter, the court often awards physical custody to one parent with an allotment of “appropriate parenting time” to the non-custodial parent. It should be noted that courts can order joint physical custody if it is shown to be in the child’s best interests.
Factors courts usually consider in awarding custody include:
- How well the parents cooperate with each other
- Prior history of trying to keep one parent away
- Interaction of the child with parents and siblings
- Safety concerns and stability of the environment
- The child’s preference, when the child has sufficient capacity to reason
- The child’s education
- The Proximity of parents’ homes and job responsibilities of the parents
- Quantity and quality of time spent with the child before and after separation
Often, courts seek to limit disruption to a child’s life. This usually means that if one parent served as the primary caregiver before separation, the court might believe it to be in the child’s best interests to continue that arrangement. However, a father’s rights lawyer in Hackensack could persuasively argue the child’s interests would be better served by a change of primary caregiver or equal time with both parents.
Devising a Custody Plan
If parents are able to create a custody plan which they both find agreeable, the court is required to approve the arrangement unless the judge finds that the plan violates the best interests of the child. If parties are not able to come to a mutually agreeable custody arrangement, the court may ask each parent to provide a custody plan for consideration. The court would then consider each document and other supporting evidence in making a custody determination. An accomplished attorney could help a father create a custody plan that works for both parents.
A Hackensack Father’s Rights Attorney
Family relationships are complex, notably when the family members families split. A Hackensack father’s rights lawyer could assist with devising a fair plan for child support, visitation, holiday visits, out-of-state arrangements, and other concerns. A seasoned attorney could also protect your rights in custody arrangements.
A dedicated family attorney could also assist in situations where a step-father seeks to adopt a step-child or when trying to establish paternity rights. To learn how legal counsel may help in your situation, call today for a consultation.