A man contemplating whether or not to file for divorce in New Jersey might think that his wife will get the upper hand during the divorce proceedings. The truth is, most marital and divorce rights are shared equally. That said, we think it is important for men to have a basic working knowledge of the law as it relates to protecting their rights in divorce.
Contrary to popular belief, New Jersey laws do not favor the wife for custody decisions. They compel courts to consider all circumstances fairly before arriving at a conclusion.
Not sure about Father’s Divorce Rights in New Jersey?
The FAQs below can lead you from a feeling of chaos to knowing that you too have rights as a man and a father.
1.) How can a father get the custody of his child in New Jersey?
It is a popular misconception that the courts in New Jersey have a bias towards the mother when deciding on the custody of the child. Today, both parents have an equal chance to win the custody of their child. The court considers the best interest of the child as the foremost factor in determining custody. A fair analysis of the circumstances of each parent leads to an unbiased decision of the child’s custody in New Jersey.
2.) How can a father win primary custody of the child?
The courts in New Jersey maintain an equality of rights between the father and the mother. If you succeed in proving before the court that you have been more involved in your child’s life than your partner, the court may grant you primary custody of your child. Your evidence will be compared to that of your partner’s at a hearing and the court will then ultimately determine the primary custodial parent.
3.) Do New Jersey courts favor the mother when determining custody of the child?
The courts in New Jersey consider both parents on equal footing in determining the custody of the child. But, New Jersey still gives importance to the ‘tender years doctrine’ and considers that factor in favor of the mother. This factor comes into play when both the parents are equally competent to take care of the child, and the child is still young and needs a significant amount of time from his or her mother.
4.) What if my wife tries to move my children out of the state?
In order for your wife to move your children out of the state, she must have filed a motion to request the court’s approval. During the process, she needs to prove she has a good faith reason to justify the move. Your wife will also have to ensure the court that the child would not suffer as a result of her decision. The courts in New Jersey will consider a proposed alternative parenting time schedule for you even if it approves your wife’s move.
5.) Can I request alimony from my wife?
In New Jersey, men and women have equal financial rights in a divorce. New Jersey law does not allow the state courts to prefer the woman in legal issues like alimony or property division. You can request alimony from your wife in your divorce proceedings. The court will decide on granting you the request after considering your and your partner’s financial situation. For example, if you have been the primary caregiver of your children because your wife has had the big job and if you have forgone your career advancement to care for your children for a number of years, alimony payments can be justified.