The notion that fathers are considered lesser parents is an outdated one. New Jersey statutes leave no doubt: mothers and fathers have equal legal rights as parents in our state. This includes the right to seek child custody and parenting time, as well as eligibility to either pay or be paid child support. Even as we move further into the 21st century, many fathers still commonly have questions regarding their legal rights, how they can establish paternity of their children, and questions about other commonly experienced parenting issues.
The fathers’ rights attorneys of Jacobs Berger take pride in serving parents from local Morris County communities and all of Northern New Jersey. Our attorneys understand that some fathers still can experience frustration within the legal system despite being considered equal. We strive to understand the individual needs and concerns of all our clients so we can tailor our legal solutions to fit your desired outcome.
Parents’ Rights Lawyers Discuss Paternity in New Jersey
As stated above, fathers and mothers are considered equal under New Jersey laws. However, while mothers are automatically granted legal status, men may have to go through the legal process of establishing paternity in order to be legally considered the father of a child. Our Madison parents’ rights lawyers help fathers establish paternity in one of three ways:
If the parents are married
For married couples having a child, the husband is legally presumed to be the father and should be named on the birth certificate. This presumption includes couples who were married when the child was born, those who were divorced or the husband was killed up to ten (10) months prior to the child’s birth.
For unmarried parents who agree on parentage
There is also an option known as a Certificate of Parentage, which can be signed by both parents at any time to establish paternity. If possible, it is ideal to have this document signed when a child is born so the father will be listed on the birth certificate. However, this can be done retroactively at any time.
For unmarried parents who do not agree on parentage
Fathers, mothers, children, and other caretakers may file a Paternity Action in NJ family court to establish paternity. This will entail a court trial and may require DNA testing.
What are some Common Issues Facing Single Fathers?
Although the law considers mothers and fathers equally, our Morris County fathers’ attorneys understand that it doesn’t always feel that way. It is important to remember that the attitude of your co-parent and the advice of your family and friends does not always hold water. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your legal standing as a father, it is a great idea to speak with a qualified and experienced family law attorney. Here are some examples of common issues expressed by New Jersey fathers:
- My co-parent wants to move far away, but I am concerned that I won’t be able to see my children
- My co-parent is withholding parenting time or custodial parenting time, which goes against our child custody agreement
- I can no longer afford my child support payments and need to have them modified
- How can I gain primary or sole child custody of my children?
- What are New Jersey regulations regarding paternity leave?
- My co-parent is lying to my child about me and my intentions. Do I have any legal recourse against parental alienation?
All of these are legitimate concerns and all have an answer. At the end of the day, men should not feel that they are lesser than women when it comes to parenting and should therefore not hesitate to fight for the legal standing which they deserve as fathers.
Contact our Father’s Rights Family Law Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our fathers’ rights family law attorneys have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of fathers and mothers throughout Morris County and across Northern New Jersey. We work to mitigate the many emotional and financial stresses of the legal process, all while striving to produce the desired outcome to your family law dispute. Our firm rejects the one size fits all legal services of some larger firms. Instead, our attorneys opt to develop a legal strategy which is tailor made to fit your individual needs.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your legal standing as a father in New Jersey, please contact us online or call our Morristown, NJ office today by dialing (973) 354-4574 for a comprehensive and confidential Strategic Planning Session.