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What are a Father’s Rights in a Divorce?

Going through a divorce can be a complex and emotionally exhausting time for a family. If the spouses are parents, they are required to determine their future life with their child. This leads to arrangements of child custody, child support, and parenting time. While some parents are able to reach agreements regarding these matters on their own, others may need the help of a judge to do so for them. If you are a father, it is important to be aware of your rights when going into a divorce through litigation.

The Right to Custody

Establishing a custody arrangement is one of the most difficult parts of divorce proceedings. This determines the amount of time a child will spend with their parents. In the state of New Jersey, parents can be awarded physical custody, legal custody, or both. If a father obtains physical custody of their child, it means they are the parent with whom the child lives and spends the majority of their time with. If they are awarded legal custody, it means they have the right to influence in the major decisions made in their child’s life. It is important to know that if a parent only obtains legal custody, they may not see their child as much as the custodial parent, but they are still allowed visitation.

The Right to Visitation

Custody is often linked to the issue of parenting time. Once physical custody is established, parents must go one step further to determine the exact amount of time each of them is entitled to with their child. Generally, New Jersey courts want both parents to be involved in their child’s life as long as it is in the child’s best interest. There are several different ways parents can arrange visitation schedules that allow them to spend time with their child. Some arrangements may allow for equal time while others may not. It is important to know that, even if a mother has primary custody, a father still has the right to have parenting time. However, this can be revoked if the parent commits violent crimes or sexual assault. 

The Right to Support

Both of a child’s parents must financially support them, even if one does not have physical custody. It is because of this that non-custodial parents owe child support payments to the custodial parent. These payments exist to balance a child’s cost of living between both parents. The financial assistance continues until a child reaches the age of emancipation and is able to support themselves. The amount that is owed is determined by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines determine a fair amount based on the family’s financial situation.

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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