Livingston Father’s Rights Lawyer
If you are a father involved in a family law case in New Jersey, you may feel that the court is biased against you. While the law is not supposed to favor either parent, child custody, visitation, and support orders often fail to protect the legal rights of fathers and their relationships with their children.
Many parenting stereotypes still exist, casting fathers as mere sources of child support and not as equally capable and loving caregivers. If you want to be a highly involved dad, are concerned about protecting your parenting rights, or have questions about establishing paternity, a Livingston father’s rights attorney could fight for your legal interests.
A Father’s Rights in New Jersey
A father is no less qualified to provide a safe and nurturing home for his child than a mother. Fathers that understand their legal rights as parents may have better chances of solidifying their essential role in their children’s lives. A strong father’s rights attorney in the area could explain the statutes concerning paternity and parenting rights.
A husband is presumed to be the child’s legal father if the parents are married when the child is born. For unwed dads, the process may be more complicated.
In New Jersey, one can establish paternity by filing a completed Affidavit of Paternity or by filing a paternity action and taking a DNA test. A local attorney well-versed in father’s rights could assist in these paternity proceedings.
Terminating Parental Rights
A father has the right to a close and loving relationship with his child. However, his parental rights could be terminated under certain circumstances.
Termination of parental rights is a lengthy and complicated process. It can occur if the child’s mother seeks to sever a father’s rights or if a state agency, such as New Jersey’s Department of Child Protection & Permanency (DCPP) formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), initiates the proceedings. A parent’s abuse, failure to support, or abandonment of the child may support termination.
Custody and Visitation
A father has the right to pursue custody or visitation with his child, regardless of whether he and the child’s mother were ever married. The court must determine what custodial or visitation schedule represents the child’s best interests in any child custody or visitation case. There are many factors that influence this decision, including:
- Parents’ willingness to accept custody
- Parents’ ability to agree in matters relating to the child
- Any history of abuse
- Any unwillingness to allow the other parent time with the child not based on substantiated abuse
- Child’s relationship with the parents and siblings
- Child’s preference when old enough to form an intelligent decision
- Fitness of parents and the stability of their residences
- How much time each parent spent with the child before and after the separation
In New Jersey, both parents have the right to consent or object to their child’s adoption. For a father to retain this right, he must first confirm paternity through a DNA test or presentation of a signed birth certificate.
A father’s rights attorney in the community could explain the intricacies of adoption laws to those who may object to their child’s unlawful adoption.
Contact a Livingston Father’s Rights Attorney to Defend You
Exercising parental rights and fighting to retain them can be difficult. It is not uncommon for custodial parents to make allegations of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence to restrict fathers’ rights to visitation. A robust legal strategy often requires gathering evidence, preparing court documents, and drafting legal agreements to defend one’s parental rights. This process may be easier and more successful with professional guidance.
If you are unhappy with your current custodial or visitation arrangement, have received notice that a termination proceeding is pending, or fear losing time with your child, contact a Livingston father’s rights attorney and schedule a consultation. Our experienced legal advocates could discuss your concerns, provide you with options, and recommend strategies to protect your relationship with your child.