How Can Fathers Determine Parentage in New Jersey Custody Cases?

When parents go through a divorce, they are usually concerned about the future of their children and their involvement in their lives. Often times, they wonder where their child will live and how often they will see them. People tend to believe that mothers are awarded custody more than fathers are. However, this is a misconception, as fathers have the same parental rights that mothers do. Fathers fighting for their right to be a part of their child’s life should retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney. 

What are Father’s Rights?

When a father wants to obtain rights to their child, they are required to prove that they are the child’s biological father. In some cases, paternity can be granted automatically. This may be if the father was married to the child’s mother throughout the 10-month period before the birth. In addition to this, parents who sign a Certificate of Parentage when the child is born can obtain automatic paternity. 

However, there are other situations where a father may need to fight to prove paternity. This can require them to bring a Paternity Action to the Family Court so that a judge can order genetic testing. This can determine whether or not the individual is the child’s father. If they are established as the father, they can be granted legal parental rights. This can include child custody, child support, and visitation rights.

Types of Custody in New Jersey

There are different types of custody that a father can be awarded in the state of New Jersey, including: 

  • Physical custody: This allows the child to live and spend the majority of their time with this parent. 
  • Legal custody: This allows the parent to be involved in making decisions about the upbringing of their child. This can include healthcare, schooling, religion, and more. At the very least, fathers should fight for legal custody of their children. 

How Do Courts Determine Custody?

When the court determines custody, they are required to do so in the best interest of the child. This can be figured out by considering the following factors: 

  • A father’s relationship with their child
  • A father’s relationship with their former spouse
  • If the father is seeking custody with honest intentions
  • The stability a father can provide their child
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s preference if they are of sufficient age

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.