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How Can I Get Custody of my Child as an Unmarried Parent in New Jersey?

Custody decisions are a heavy part of divorce proceedings. However, they are not only an issue during divorces but when the parents are unmarried as well. When unmarried parents wish to obtain custody of their child, there is a different process in place. While this is true, these cases are just as important. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for assistance with your case.

How Is Custody Determined for Unmarried Parents?

New Jersey custody law follows different procedures in cases of unmarried parents. These situations require parents to enter a non-dissolution “FD” case. This allows parents the following rights:

  • 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?

Custody issues can be very stressful and concerning, as parents tend to worry about how often they will get to see their child. In the state of New Jersey, there are different types of custody arrangements that can be determined for unmarried parents depending on their familial situation. This can include the following:

  • Joint legal custody: This allows a child to live with one parent most of the time. It also allows both parents the right to be involved in making decisions for the child’s upbringing. This can include matters of education, religion, healthcare, and more. Parents facing custody matters should at least fight for legal custody so that they can have this involvement in the child’s life. 
  • Joint custody: This allows a child to spend an even amount of time residing with both of their parents. This is usually the most ideal arrangement for unmarried parents in these situations.
  • Sole custody: This provides one parent with full legal and physical custody of the child. This tends to be rare, as the court usually wants both parents to have involvement in their child’s life in some way. However, the arrangement may be awarded in situations where a parent is proven to be unfit or a danger to their child. It is important to note that even the non-custodial parent can still have parenting time. 

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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