In divorce, many people assume each parent has unique rights. Some believe mothers have the right to custody while fathers only have a right to visitation. Such opinions are often guided by preconceived notions of which parent is a better fit to care for a child, often routed in parenting stereotypes. This over-simplified view of parents’ rights in divorce sets up some false expectations because neither parent has rights inherent in his or her gender or parental role. Parents do have rights in a divorce, but they both start out with the same rights on a level playing field.
Unfortunately, some parents don’t respect each other’s rights during divorce, causing significant stress to both parents and the child. To enforce your rights—and keep harmful conflict at bay—you need first to understand them, so here is some basic information on your rights and how you can enforce them as a parent during a divorce.
Until the court issues a custody order—either temporary or permanent—both parents have legal and physical custody of their child. This means the other parent could theoretically take your child, under the premise that he or she has physical custody. Some parents withhold their child during the divorce to manipulate the other parent.
A good way to prevent this is to file a pendent lite motion to obtain temporary custody during the divorce proceedings. You might not get sole physical and legal custody, but even if custody is shared, the other parent will be prevented from leaving the state with your child. A court order will also provide you with legal recourse if the other parent violates your rights.
Likewise, both parents share the financial responsibility for the child equally until a child support order is issued. Another method of manipulation in divorce is withholding financial resources, thus making it difficult for one parent to care for the child. But you can file a pendent lite motion to get temporary child support and even alimony that will provide support during the divorce.
Speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you want to enforce your rights. An attorney can help you file a pendent lite motion to get temporary relief during your divorce proceedings, reducing your chance of being manipulated or having your rights violated. And if the other parent disobeys the court’s orders, an attorney can help you take the matter to the court to get relief.
Are you worried about your rights being violated? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help ensure you can enforce your special rights as a parent. 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 email@example.com, 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.