How Do I Obtain Custody of my Child as an Unmarried Parent in New Jersey?

The issue of custody does not solely pertain to divorce matters. There are many unmarried parents in the state of New Jersey who fear losing custody of their children. These situations are just as important, however, they are handled differently than during divorce cases. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney to learn more.

How Is Custody Determined for Unmarried Parents?

When an unmarried parent wants to obtain custody of their child, they should be aware of New Jersey custody law. In these situations, unmarried parents can enter a non-dissolution “FD” case. This allows them the right to the following:

  • Establish legal paternity for the child
  • Establish legal custody orders for a minor
  • Enforce child support or alimony payments
  • Create a parenting time court order for biological parents
  • Set grandparent/adult sibling visitation orders

What are Types of Custody?

In New Jersey, there are three different types of custody arrangements that unmarried parents can obtain. This can include:

  • Joint legal custody: This allows the child to live with one parent the majority of the time. While this is true, both parents have the right to be involved in making decisions regarding a child’s upbringing. This can include matters such as where they go to school, their religion, healthcare, and more. It is important for parents to fight for legal custody of their children at the least.
  • Joint custody: This allows a child to spend an equal amount of time residing with both of their parents. This is often the most ideal arrangement for parents in these situations. 
  • Sole custody: This is when one parent has full legal and physical custody of the child. This tends to be rare, as the court usually wants both parents to be involved in their child’s life. It may be awarded if one parent is proven to be unfit or a danger to the child. However, the non-custodial parent can still be awarded parenting time

Contact our Firm

We understand that those getting a divorce most likely have several questions regarding the weeks and months to come. 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. If you are getting a divorce or have any other questions regarding divorce-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our firm for a consultation today.