Fathers may face an uphill battle in court when it comes to child custody issues.  In most cases, a mother retains custody of the couple’s child or children.  Undoubtedly, it’s in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with both parents, but unfortunately, a father’s rights may fall by the wayside.  Given the often-stereotypical image of fathers in parenting roles, it’s important that fathers understand their rights.

A Father’s Rights to Physical and Legal Custody in New Jersey

Fathers have an equal right to physical and legal custody in New Jersey.  While some courts may favor the mother, as they may be seen as vital maternal roles in the life of a child, courts should not use gender to determine the custody of a child.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is who the child lives with the majority of the time.  Courts generally like cases in which parents can have shared physical custody, or joint custody, of their child or children.  However, in the event this is not possible, fathers should have a right to visitation with their child(ren).  Father’s should have access to their children in order to have the best relationship with them.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is the right to make decisions for the child.  In cases where a father may not have physical custody, fathers may still have legal custody.  This can give them the opportunity to make decisions about the child’s life and upbringing, including schooling, religious decisions, medical decisions, and other types of decisions.

Understanding your Rights as a Father

It’s important to understand your rights as a father.  The issues surrounding physical and legal custody be tumultuous at times and parents can get lost in their emotions.  It’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you with your matter.

If you have questions about custody of your child and your rights as a father, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and help you protect the future of your family.

Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.