kid and father


A father may sometimes feel that he is at a disadvantage in a family law dispute. However, where legal paternity has been established, the father’s rights are the same as the mother’s in all respects of family law in New Jersey. For the protection of divorce rights for fathers, it is best to have strong legal representation from an experienced New Jersey family law attorney. Let’s examine a father’s rights in New Jersey and how to protect them.

Can a Father Obtain Primary Custody of a Child?

Custody protection for fathers after divorce is an important issue. New Jersey courts maintain equality of rights for both parents in child custody cases. As a father, you can win your child’s primary custody if you can prove to the court that you are more of an integral part of your child’s life compared to the other parent. 

During the court hearing, the judge will compare the evidence that you present with that of the mother. It will decide based on the evidence who will be the primary custodial parent. In principle, a father’s rights are no different from the mother’s regarding custody.

When the Mother Wants to Relocate With Children

If the mother is the primary custodial parent and desires to relocate out of New Jersey with the children, she must file a motion to request approval from the court. As part of this process, the mother will have to prove before the court that she has a good faith reason that justifies her decision to move. 

The mother will also need to assure the court that the relocation will not compromise the child’s best interests as a result. If the New Jersey court approves the mother’s decision to relocate out of the state with children, it will consider your suggestion of an alternate parenting schedule so that you can spend an equivalent amount of time with your children.

Father’s Right to Receive Alimony

Both spouses under New Jersey law have equal financial rights in a divorce. The courts will not show any preference toward a woman in matters related to alimony; or marital property division based on her gender. During divorce proceedings, you may request to receive alimony from your ex-wife. 

The court will consider you and the other party’s financial position and may accordingly grant your request for alimony. For instance, during marriage years, if your wife worked a significant occupation while you were the children’s primary caregiver, and if you gave up some career opportunities to provide care to your children for several years, the court may approve your alimony request.

Tender Years Doctrine in New Jersey 

In exceptional situations, the court in New Jersey may apply the tender years doctrine while determining child custody. If the baby is too young or still dependent on breastfeeding, the court may use this doctrine to establish what is in the child’s best interests. However, in recent divorce cases in the state, courts are not utilizing this doctrine in a significant way to determine custody. 

Protect Your Rights as a Father With an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Are you a father facing a child custody case in New Jersey? You need to hire an experienced and professional family law attorney to protect your interests; and help you gain primary custodianship of your children. The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., delivers passionate and personalized service to prioritize your needs and reach the best conclusion in your child custody case. No matter the case, no matter the client, we are here for you 24/7, 365. We also have bilingual staff available to speak to you. Call us today at (973) 358-6134 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential phone consultation.