A Chance to Acknowledge
Before parents in non-dissolution cases appear before a judge, the court may refer them to a consent conference. A consent conference is a meeting between the parents in the presence of a court representative. Typically, the representative is from the county where the action was filed. If you have an upcoming consent conference in New Jersey, here’s what you need to know about the process and your rights.
The consent conference gives the alleged father a chance to acknowledge—or deny—paternity. Consent conferences aren’t always successful. It is not uncommon for one parent to fail to appear or deny paternity at the conference. Nevertheless, establishing paternity is the first step to getting a child support and custody order for unmarried parents.
What Happens if the Father Denies Paternity?
If the father denies paternity, you have a right to ask the court to step in. Every child in New Jersey deserves financial support from both parents. At the same time, every father deserves the chance to ask for custody or visitation. Thus, consent conferences benefit both mother and father.
When a father denies paternity or the consent conference is otherwise unsuccessful, the Family Part Intake Service (part of the family court) will schedule the matter before a child support hearing officer. The officer can then ask the court to order paternity tests. If the father refuses to take a paternity test, the court can admit the refusal as evidence that the father is indeed the parent. Also, the father can be found in contempt of court.
Once the parents have the results of the tests, the father has ten days to contest them. Unless the father successfully contests the results, the court will issue a Judgment of Paternity.
When the Father Acknowledges Paternity
If the father acknowledges paternity at the consent conference, the court will issue a Judgment of Paternity, and a child support hearing can be scheduled.
If you have an upcoming consent conference in New Jersey, consult with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney. Specifically, speak with an attorney who can help you with paternity matters. Establishing paternity is the most important step to enforcing your rights as a parent. It can give your child access to financial support. It also ensures both parents can be involved in your child’s life. An attorney can review your rights and help you take steps to getting court orders that can protect your child and your rights.
Do you have questions about child custody and child support New Jersey? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you in matters involving paternity and custody. Located in Short Hills, 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.