It used to be that mothers were at a huge advantage during custody cases and would almost always end up with primary custody of the children. This was mostly due to outdated ideas that a child must have their mother around as much as possible to develop and grow, with no consideration for the child’s relationship with his father. Since the 1990s that idea has been steadily changing, and now more fathers are obtaining joint custody or 50/50 custody of their children after their divorce. In fact, the courts are beginning to recognize just how important it is for children to spend time with their loving fathers. At The Micklin Law Group, we’ve seen this firsthand. We’ve helped countless fathers successfully obtain joint or sole custody over the last 20+ years.
Here’s more on the ever-changing trends of child custody and how they pertain to New Jersey fathers’ divorce and child custody cases.
Why Fathers Are Seeking More Parenting Time
There are many reasons a father would want joint or even sole custody of their child. Many fathers want to spend as much time as possible with their children and are prepared to do what it takes to make that work. They are willing to consider their ex’s weekly schedule and adjust their own schedule somewhat to make the exchange of the child easier for all parties. However, if a father feels he is more equipped to parent his child than the child’s mother, he may be interested in seeking primary custody. That way, the child will still have valuable time with his mother while receiving the best possible care.
A father seeking sole custody may feel his ex is fully incapable of adequately caring for their child. She could have a history of physical or emotional abuse against the child, for example. It can also be concerning if the child’s mother has substance abuse issues, especially if she has been charged with crimes such as possession of drugs or DUIs. If a father’s New Jersey child custody attorney can prove his ex spends time with unsavory characters who could be harmful to the child, the father has a good shot at being granted sole custody.
Courts Want to See You Put Your Child First
Some family law courts in New Jersey are trending toward giving more custody to the less vindictive or angry parent because they believe he or she will grant the child greater access to the other parent. For example, if your ex is a narcissist who has posted all over Facebook that she’ll never let you see your child again if she receives custody, a judge may find this approach concerning and decline to give your ex-primary custody. The idea is that a vindictive parent isn’t concerned about their child’s best interests; they just want to use the child as a pawn to hurt their ex. Conversely, if you know how important it is for your child to maintain a relationship with his mother, you’re more likely to encourage phone calls and visitation between the two – even if you can’t stand your ex. Your ex-wife may want an NJ child custody battle, but you just want what’s best for your kid.
Taking Child Support Off the Table
Child custody attorneys are also seeing a related trend of fathers who have primary custody choosing not to pursue child support from their ex. This is usually the case when the father is the higher earner and also has the child at his home most of the time. Many fathers feel capable of providing financially for the child and are not interested in receiving child support. It is possible for co-parents to agree to take child support off the table through a waiver of child support, which your New Jersey child support attorney can help you create. When this document is approved by the court, neither parent will be required to pay child support regardless of their custody arrangement.
New Jersey Child Custody Lawyers for Fathers
The current trends show fathers obtaining more parenting time with their children, including sole custody in some cases. This is encouraging to us at The Micklin Law Group; we know that our clients are great dads and great people who constantly have their children’s best interests in mind.
If you’re a dad seeking a favorable custody arrangement in New Jersey, we’d be honored to represent you and fight for your right to see your child. Our family law attorneys for men can be reached in Nutley, NJ at 973-562-0100 or in Montclair at 862-245-4620. Let’s work together to make sure your ex and the family law courts honor your relationship with your child.