If you are a father and are getting divorced, you are most likely worried about what will happen with your children. Will they continue to live with you? How often will you see them? This is why it is so important you know your rights. To learn more about what you can do, read on and contact our knowledgeable firm for assistance.
What are Father’s Rights?
The first, and perhaps most obvious aspect of your rights as a father is that you must prove you are indeed this child’s father. New Jersey automatically grants paternity to fathers who are either married to the child’s mother at the time of birth, or the father was married to the mother within 10 months after the child was born. Additionally, you may use what is known as a “Certificate of Parentage” to prove your fatherhood. This a voluntarily-signed document by the mother and father at the time of the child’s birth.
Unfortunately, the process is a bit more challenging if you were not granted automatic paternity and have not signed a Certificate of Parentage. If this is the case, you and your attorney will need to bring a “Paternity Action” to the New Jersey Family Court. If you present a convincing case, a judge will order a genetic test to determine the child’s paternity. If granted, you may now seek your legal rights regarding child custody, support, and visitation.
What is physical custody?
Physical custody determines where the child will be spending most of his or her time. For example, if you are granted sole physical custody, your child will be spending most or all of his time with you, while living at your house.
What is legal custody?
Legal custody, on the other hand, determines whether a parent has a say in his or her child’s major life decisions, such as education, religion, medical care, and extracurricular activities. As a father, though you want your child to live with you, it is especially important you fight for legal custody as well, as you will legally have a say in your child’s life, even if he or she does not primarily live with you.
How will the courts decide on child custody terms?
The courts will consider several factors when determining child custody, however, the ultimate goal is to best protect the rights and quality of life for your child. However, some of the additional factors the courts will take into question are as follows:
- The bond you and your child share
- The relationship between you and your former spouse
- The time elapsed since you last contacted your child
- Your history with the child, and whether or not you pose any sort of a risk to your child
- Your good faith in seeking child custody
Contact our experienced New Jersey 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.