If you are a divorcing parent, you will need to address custody and parenting time in your proceedings. And if you are a divorcing father, you may be worried that there will be favoritism placed toward your child’s mother when it comes to these decisions. Read on to discover if fathers ever get primary custody and how one of the seasoned New Jersey child custody attorneys at Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn can fight for your case.
How is primary custody determined in the state of New Jersey?
The New Jersey family court is encouraged to interpret a long list of circumstances when it comes to deciding child custody. Some of the factors of note are as follows:
- Both parents’ willingness to cooperate.
- Both parents’ acceptance of custody.
- Both parents’ ability to offer a stable home environment.
- Both parents’ ability to act as a guardian.
- Both parents’ earning capabilities and financial status.
- The bond that the child has with each parent.
- The needs of the child.
- The education of the child.
- Whether any parent has a history of domestic violence.
- Whether any parent has a history of substance abuse.
- Whether any parent has a history of incarceration.
Does New Jersey ever grant primary custody to fathers?
The state of New Jersey tries to grant 50/50 joint custody arrangements whenever the circumstances allow for it. This is because the courts hold the belief that it would be in the best interest of the child to maintain a close and healthy relationship with both of their parents even after a divorce.
However, in the instance that child custody proceedings are contested, and it is impossible to reach a joint custody agreement, the courts tend to grant primary custody to mothers. Data has shown that only about 17 percent of single fathers have primary custody over their children. Unfortunately, this is even though New Jersey family courts are encouraged to be “gender blind” when it comes to awarding custody.
What should I do if I am denied custody rights as a father?
If you believe that you were wrongfully denied custody rights over your child, then you must petition for a post-judgment modification. With this petition, you must convince the court that they were incorrect with their initial judgment and that you are indeed parentally fit to be a guardian over your child.
A child’s paternal relationship is more valuable than society perceives. We believe that, if you are able and willing, you deserve physical custody, legal custody, or at the very least, visitation rights as a father. So, if you are ready to fight for these fights, seek the counsel of one of the competent Morris County family law attorneys today.