Woodbridge Father’s Rights Lawyer

Fathers are often instrumental in providing guidance and support for their children. In some cases, though, fathers need help defending their rights and making sure they can be there for their children. In fact, many fathers are unclear about their rights and how to exercise them properly.

If you are a father in need of assistance asserting your rights, contact a Woodbridge father’s rights lawyer today. Experienced family attorneys could inform you of your rights and help you defend them in court. They could also recommend specific courses of action that may help achieve the outcome you want, as well as represent you in court and file any court paperwork necessary on your behalf.

Father’s Rights Defined Under State Law

Under New Jersey law, a father’s rights with respect to their child depend on first establishing paternity and a legally-recognized parent-child relationship.

According to New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:17-43, an individual is presumed to be the biological father of a child if they and the child’s mother are—or have been—married, and the child was born during the marriage. This presumption also applies if the individual marries the child’s mother after the child’s birth and holds themselves out as the natural father of the child. 

Establishing A Father-Child Relationship

If there is any uncertainty about the status of a father with respect to their child, the father may elect to voluntarily acknowledge paternity. Such an acknowledgment may be made in writing and filed with the local registrar of vital statistics, according to N.J.R.S. §9:17-43. If the child’s mother does not dispute this acknowledgment within a reasonable amount of time after filing, the individual is deemed to be the father of the child.

Additionally, a prospective father may petition a court—with a Woodbridge father’s rights lawyer’s help if they wish—to declare paternity based on a blood test or other genetic test, according to N.J.R.S. §9:17-41. If such a test indeed shows that the individual is likely the child’s father, a New Jersey court may order a formal recognition of that fact, including adding the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate.

Custody and Visitation Rights for Fathers

Generally, a father has the same rights to care for and have a relationship with their child as the child’s biological mother does. Under N.J.R.S. §9:2-4, New Jersey courts generally seek to ensure that a child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents in the case of separation or divorce, if such an arrangement is possible and in the child’s best interests.

As a result, a father may petition a court for either sole custody of their child with visitation rights for the other parent, or for joint custody in which both parents share custody of the child. Courts generally make custody determinations based on the best interests of the child, according to N.J.R.S. §9:2-4a. Therefore, a court in Woodbridge, New Jersey may take into account factors such as the relationship of the child with each parent, the home environment of each parent, and the preferences of the child.

If a father currently does not have physical custody, they may petition a court for new or expanded visitation rights. Such a petition may be based on changes to the father’s employment responsibilities, lifestyle, or relationship with the child that supports increased involvement in the child’s life. A Woodbridge father’s rights lawyer could help them establish any of these rationales or alternative ones before the court.

Work with a Woodbridge Father’s Rights Attorney Today

In some instances, a father’s rights are less obvious or less intuitive than a mother’s rights. As a result, fathers may have rights or obligations that they do not realize they have. They may also be unaware of things they could do to help protect their relationship with their children.

A Woodbridge father’s rights lawyer could work to help your with your father’s rights issues. If you have legal questions or need specific legal advice as a father, call today for a consultation. An attorney could sit down with you and provide you with the legal resources you need to effectively pursue a positive outcome to your case.