New Jersey Father’s Rights Lawyer
In family law cases, it may feel as if the deck is stacked against fathers. While the law is not biased, the stereotype of the mother as a child’s primary caretaker is still prevalent in many courtrooms.
If you are a father seeking custody or visitation of your children, contact a New Jersey father’s rights lawyer. An experienced family attorney could fight for a positive resolution to your case.
Fathers Have Equal Rights to Their Kids
On its face, the law holds men and women as equal when it comes to parenting children. In the New Jersey Statutes, Title 9 §2-4 states that the rights of both parents must be equally distributed in relation to child custody matters. In practice, however, fathers may face discrimination.
Even though the law is gender neutral when it comes to parenting time, women still receive custody of their children more frequently than men for several reasons. Primarily, courts do not like to create upheaval in a child’s life and are more likely to create an arrangement that mimics the children’s pre-divorce situation. Since it is slightly more common for wives to be the primary caretaker of the children during a marriage, it is also slightly more common for them to be named the primary custodial parent after a divorce or separation.
Another reason fathers may receive less time with their children after a divorce or separation is because they simply might not ask for it. If a father is unaware he has equal rights in custody or visitation issues, he may not know to request it from the court.
As time goes on, the prejudice against fathers is fading in the court system. By hiring a father’s rights lawyer in New Jersey, dads could protect their relationship with their children before and after a divorce.
Parents Share Responsibilities in New Jersey
In addition to having equal rights to custody and parenting time, fathers also have equal obligations when it comes to financial support. Both parents are jointly responsible for financially contributing to their children’s wellbeing.
The law assumes that the custodial parent, meaning the parent with whom the children live for the majority of the year, contributes their share of support by covering the bills for the home and taking care of the children’s day-to-day needs. The non-custodial parent contributes their share by paying child support. If parents share custody relatively equally, the amount of child support a person pays can be significantly reduced. A New Jersey father’s rights attorney could help individuals understand their financial support obligations to their children.
In most cases, barring abuse or neglect, both parents will also share legal custody over their children. Legal custody refers to a parent’s decision-making authority and gives fathers and mothers the power to make joint decisions about important aspects of their children’s lives. Legal custody is separate from physical custody, so even the non-custodial parent can have equal say.
Contact a NJ Father’s Rights Attorney
Fathers who want to protect their relationship with their children should speak with an experienced family attorney. While men may have equal rights under the law, enforcing these rights may require skilled legal counsel.
An attorney could help you establish paternity or file motions on your behalf to increase the time you spend with your kids. To get started, schedule a consultation with a New Jersey father’s rights lawyer today.