How is Parentage Determined in New Jersey Custody Cases?

Custody matters are often very serious and emotional situations. This is because no parent ever wants to lose time with their child. They usually wonder where their child will live and how often they will get to see them. When dealing with these matters, there is often a misconception that mothers are awarded custody more than fathers are. However, fathers are entitled to the same parental rights that mothers are. Custody decisions can vary depending on certain factors of the case presented. Fathers who wish to fight for their right to see their child should retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney. 

What are Father’s Rights?

The first step in a father ensuring their right to their child is to prove that they are, in fact, the child’s biological father. There are some cases in which they may be automatically granted paternity. If a father was married to the child’s mother during the 10-month period before the child was born, they can be granted paternity right away. Sometimes, parents may sign a Certificate of Parentage when a child is born. This can be used as proof as well that the father is biological. 

However, there are other cases in which fathers may need to fight in order to establish paternity. In these situations, they must bring a Paternity Action to the Family Court. Once this is done, a judge can order genetic testing in order to determine if they are the child’s father or not. If the individual is established as such, they can be granted legal rights to their child. This can include matters such as child custody, child support, and visitation rights.

Types of Custody in New Jersey

In New Jersey, there are different types of custody that a father can be awarded depending on their case:

  • Physical custody: This allows the child to live with and spend the majority of their time with them. 
  • Legal custody: This allows them to be involved in making decisions regarding the upbringing of their child. This can include matters of healthcare, schooling, religion, and more. At the very least, fathers should fight for legal custody. 

How is Custody Determined?

Custody decisions are made in the best interest of the child. This can be determined by the following factors:

  • A father’s relationship with their child
  • A father’s relationship with their former spouse
  • If the father is seeking custody with honest intentions
  • The stability a father can provide their child
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s preference if they are of sufficient age

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.