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Child Custody rights for fathers

While the courts are not discriminatory against fathers, only a few fathers are granted full control over their kids. According to census data, 17.5% of custodial parents are fathers.

Although there are many reasons for this, it can be difficult not to get a dismaying case if you’re a father trying to get full custody. Although the process is difficult, courts often decide on child custody rights for fathers.

The majority of judges attempt to make sure that their decisions are best in the interests of their children. If there are no concerns, for example, the abuse or drug use issues in cases of granting complete parenting rights to just one parent would be the best option, that is usually a matter of maintaining contact and relations with both parents.

What are the rights of the FATHER in a CUSTODY dispute?

The child custody law in New Jersey is gender-neutral. There’s no reason to believe that a father or mother has the right to or is exempt from having custody. It’s assumed that children are more secure having both parents involved in their lives somehow. New Jersey law NJSA 9:2-4 clarifies that parents both have a right to be in custody unless evidence establishes that it’s not in the child’s best interest.

In the past, mothers were able to have an advantage in custody disputes because the traditional family dynamics was that the mom was the primary caregiver, and the father was the one who earned a wage. Thus, mothers would spend more time caring for their children. This is not the case anymore since more women are working full-time and more men are taking on raising children.

In reality, we hear about powerful professionals quitting their jobs to be stay-at-homestay-at-home fathers every day. We’re not suggesting that you do it, but there are numerous reasons. And avoid doing it thinking that you’ll “win” the custody battle. We’re just trying to show that the dynamics of families have changed. Yet fathers remain victimized by the stereotype of an absent, boring father in the past.


There’s no clear solution to how much fathers receive full custody. A study conducted across the country on parenting time was conducted by custody XChange. This company designs parenting time-scheduling software, highlighting the differing levels of the number of times dads spend with their children across different states.

The study concluded that in New Jersey, fathers and mothers were most likely to share custody equally. However, the study did not specify how many cases were investigated or the proportion of studied cases that shared fifty/50 parental time. The study examined the decisions regarding parenting time within Bergen County and nine other counties within the state. The study also included this qualification in the research: “The percentages in the study are based on cases where both parents are seeking custody, and no complicated circumstances are present, such as lengthy separation or criminal convictions.” The study showed that fathers would be given around 35% of their parenting time. It was reported in the US Census stated in 2013 that 17.5 percent of custodial parents were fathers.


The father’s rights regarding custody issues are based on the state statute. There are various types of custody arrangements for children. They can be divided and shared in a variety of ways:

  • Legal custody the legal custody of your child is available to you to make important decisions regarding your child’s medical treatment and education. You don’t have to reside with your child to enjoy the legal right to share custody with your kid.
  • Residential or physical custody relates to the length of time that a child stays with their parent and the parent’s capacity to make daily, practical choices about their lifestyle. Suppose you are the primary physical or residential custody. In that case, you’ll reside with your child for longer than the parent you share. The other parent will be considered the parent with the alternate residence.
  • The HTML0 code is shared (or jointly) or sole residential or legal custody. The custody rights could be divided by parents, or just one parent can be granted these rights. Most often, legal custody is split. Residential custody could be assigned to one person during school hours, and the other stay with the child for the rest of the time. It depends on how you share your (visitation) schedule. Don’t get involved in the primary and the alternate parent definitions. Practically your child will enjoy the benefit of both of you when they grow up.

Our fathers who are not married entitled to rights?

Fathers who are not married can’t automatically have parental responsibility for the child. They only have the right to assume parental responsibility when they are listed as a father on the child’s birth certificate. Suppose a father who is not married is listed in the certificate of birth. In that case, they enjoy the same rights as that child’s parent, which includes access to and contact with the child, and the possibility to consult with the child on major decisions affecting the child. Unmarried fathers listed on the birth certificate have the same rights as the mother.

Contrary to unmarried fathers, who aren’t listed as fathers on the child’s birth records, they do not assume a parent’s responsibility. Therefore, they are not required to be considered in making decisions regarding the child. In this situation, the father won’t be legally entitled to any rights in parental custody or child arrangements disagreements. To see his child in this situation, the father must first prove paternity through the courts and be granted parental consent before visiting the child.

What is the court’s view when determining the rights of a father entitled to contact with his child?

When determining what rights, a father has concerning contact with children, The courts will take into account the child’s welfare and the child’s best interests under the Children Act 1989. The courts will look at the child’s best interests, not necessarily what parents want to hear. So, if the mother is unwilling to permit contact, the court will not respect the mother’s wishes and concentrate on the child. In the end, allowing a child to keep a healthy family and close relationship with both parents is in the child’s best interest. A judge will make an order to ensure that this is the case.

The only instance where a court won’t be willing to support the father’s relationship with the child is if there is concern over the safety and welfare that the child is in. This is usually the case when the dad is in a relationship of violence or a problem with the abuse of alcohol and drugs. In such cases, the court is likely to instruct Caffas to conduct screening for security and gather evidence.

The courts then look at the evidence and listen to the father before arriving at its final decision regarding the award of child contact with the father. Therefore, it is clear that the courts are seeking to encourage an active relationship between the child and both parents. This right can only be stripped away from the child when there is a concern about the child’s welfare.

Read Also: A Guide to 50/50 Custody Schedule