The notion that mothers are the default custodian is an outdated one. In fact, New Jersey statutes indicate that mothers and fathers have equal legal rights as parents in our state. Despite common misconceptions, when it comes to legal issues stemming from a divorce or other family law disputes, mothers and fathers are on equal footing in New Jersey. It is therefore vital that mothers understand their legal rights and responsibilities throughout the legal process to make well-informed decisions.
The mothers’ rights attorneys of Jacobs Berger take pride in serving mothers and fathers from local Morris County communities including Randolph, Morristown, Denville, Madison, Tewksbury, Dover, Rockaway, East Hanover, and all of Northern New Jersey. Unlike some larger firms, we strive to minimize conflict and stress during the family law legal process. Our attorneys believe that effective legal solutions do not need to involve unnecessary litigation, hostility, or animosity.
Call our office today to discuss any questions and concerns you may have as a mother in New Jersey in a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session with one of our experienced and qualified divorce and family law attorneys.
Lawyers Discuss Fathers and Mothers Rights in New Jersey
Previously, New Jersey law would favor mothers when it came to issues concerning child custody, child support, alimony, and more. However, laws have changed to reflect our modern society and are now gender-neutral. Therefore, it is important to understand that your legal standing as a mother is no different than your co-parent’s as a father.
One key difference between mothers’ and fathers’ legal rights is that of maternity and paternity. Maternity is much more clearer cut, as the mother is considered a legal parent at the time of birth. For fathers, legal paternity must be established in order for the father to have any legal rights as a parent. For adoptive parents, this process may be different as well.
Mothers’ Rights Attorneys: Child Custody and Child Support Considerations
Child custody and child support disputes are considered by New Jersey judges and mediators with the best interests of the child in mind. This is an important distinction to understand, as it often has a material impact on divorce and family law proceedings. As stated previously, men and women are treated as equals when determining both child custody and child support. When it comes to child custody, the factors our Randolph mothers’ rights attorneys may argue can include:
- The existing relationship between the child and each co-parent
- The ability of each parent to provide a safe and secure home for the child
- Communication between co-parents and ability to coordinate schedules, parenting plans, etc.
- The financial standing of each parent
- Any history of domestic violence or other criminal activity
- Much more
When it comes to child support, calculations are based on a standardized formula. This formula takes many factors into account including your child custody arrangement, the gross income of both parents, the number of children involved, and more.
What are my Legal Rights as an Unmarried Mother?
In New Jersey, unmarried mothers are given legal and physical custody of their children as a baseline. If the father takes no legal action, mothers are within their legal rights to retain full child custody and will therefore also be ineligible to receive any form of child support. However, if a father is granted legal paternity (this can be done at the time of birth or any time after), he will be given equal parenting rights and responsibilities as well.
As previously discussed, the stated position of New Jersey Family Courts is to provide the best situation for children. It is also the position of the courts that this will involve a relationship with both parents when possible. In other words, unmarried mothers and fathers have equal legal standing once paternity is established and the courts will favor an arrangement that includes both parents taking an active role in the child’s life.
Many couples who are in a happy relationship choose to have children without becoming married. In these situations, couples may address issues such as child custody and child support through a cohabitation agreement, which is essentially an agreement that grants unmarried couples many of the same legal rights as married couples.
Contact our Mothers’ Legal Rights Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our mothers’ legal rights attorneys have extensive experience helping parents navigate the legal process in Morris County towns and across all of Northern New Jersey. We understand that no two families are the same. Our firm, therefore, believes in offering dynamic and highly personalized legal solutions that address the unique situations of each one of our clients.
To learn more about your legal standing and your options moving forward as a New Jersey mother, please contact us online or call our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 354-4574 today for a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session.