In the past, it was common for mothers to get full custody of the child in a divorce or separation case. The courts would often give the father parenting time rights but not the right to live with the child. Today, the New Jersey family courts do not discriminate against fathers. Both parents start out on equal footing in the eyes of the court.
Despite being on equal footing, many men feel they aren’t given the custody rights they deserve. This is true in some cases. Though the courts are supposed to approach custody actions from a gender-neutral standpoint, they will sometimes give preference to mothers if they have been the primary caretakers for the child up until that point. But this doesn’t mean the father shouldn’t get a chance. And it certainly doesn’t mean the father shouldn’t share custody. It does mean that a father may need an advocate to argue his case in court. If you feel the odds are against you, you will need an attorney to help you demonstrate your wishes to be an involved part of your child’s life to the court. If you want shared custody, you will need to show the arrangement will be in your child’s best interests. If you cannot get physical custody, an attorney can help you get ample parenting time so you can be an engaged and involved parent while your child grows up.
The court will consider several factors when deciding on custody. The gender or parental role of each parent is not supposed to be among them. Factors that affect custody include the character and fitness of each parent, the ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs, and the relationship the child has with each parent. You should emphasize these factors when arguing your case in a custody action.
If you are a father seeking custody, know that you are not alone. Many fathers can get custody with the help of an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney. Children benefit from spending time with both parents, and a good custody attorney will know how to argue this point in court. Defending your right to live with and spend time with your child is important, and you will be best served with an advocate in your corner.
Do you have questions about fathers’ rights? At the Williams Law Group, LLC, we have the experience needed to defend your rights as a father. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.