Custody matters are not only taken into consideration during situations of divorce. There are many cases in which unmarried parents in New Jersey want to fight for custody of their children. Even though these situations are handled differently, they are just as important. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney to learn more about this process.
How Is Custody Determined for Unmarried Parents?
Unmarried parents who are looking to obtain custody of their child need to be aware of the differences in New Jersey custody law. When facing these situations, these parents are able to enter a non-dissolution “FD” case. This allows parents the right to the following:
- Establish legal paternity for the child
- Establish legal custody orders for a minor
- Enforce child support or alimony payments
- Create a parenting time court order for biological parents
- Set grandparent/adult sibling visitation orders
What are Types of Custody?
When parents are dealing with the issue of custody, it can be stressful. They often wonder how often they will get to see their child and spend time with them. In the state of New Jersey, there are three different types of custody arrangements that can be awarded in cases of unmarried parents. This can include the following:
- Joint legal custody: This lets the child live with one parent the majority of the time. However, it also allows both parents the right to be involved in making decisions for the child regarding their upbringing. This can include matters such as education, religion, healthcare, and more. Parents dealing with custody should at least fight for legal custody, as it allows them this involvement in the child’s life.
- Joint custody: This lets a child spend an even amount of time living with both of their parents. Oftentimes, the most ideal arrangement for unmarried parents facing these situations.
- Sole custody: This allows one parent to have full legal and physical custody of the child. This is usually rare because the court wants both parents to be involved in their child’s life. While this is true, the arrangement may be awarded if one parent is proven to be unfit or a danger to the child. It is important to know that in these situations, the non-custodial parent can still have visitation rights.
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