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How to Establish Paternity and Parental Rights in NJ

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Jun 8, 2021

How to Establish Paternity and Parental Rights in NJ

Do You Believe Your Parental Rights in NJ Are Being Denied?

Read to learn how to establish paternity in NJ and what unmarried fathers’ rights in NJ are.

If you believe you are the father of a woman’s child and you are being denied visitation rights or other parental rights in NJ, you’ll need to establish your paternity and seek out how New Jersey laws can help you. You may need to obtain paternity testing as well.

However, it is essential to note that New Jersey does not have a state decree that defines parental rights and does not protect these parental rights as primary rights. Several bills were put forward both in 2014 and 2015, but none of them passed.

Parenting Time and Custody Laws in New Jersey

Despite the lack of a state decree about parental rights, New Jersey has specific custody and parenting time laws. It is considered a crime if even a parent or guardian takes a minor child and stops the child’s parent from receiving parenting time or custody.

As such, as long as you can prove paternity, you should receive parenting time with your child. Otherwise, your child’s mother would be committing a crime.

It is also illegal to conceal or take a child before a temporary or final order has the final say on a child’s custody. Essentially, interfering with the custody of a child is considered a crime in New Jersey. Father’s legal rights do entitle the father to parenting time with their child.

If you can prove that you are the father of the said child, then it should be much more straightforward to obtain visitation rights and other parental rights to your offspring.

How to Establish Paternity in NJ

While it may be more complicated to ensure an unmarried father’s rights in NJ, the state itself, through the Office of Child Support and Paternity Programs (OCSPP), is responsible for helping establish paternity in NJ once an allegation has been made as to the father of a child. The allegation can be made by the mother, alleged father, a different parental figure or guardian, or the child. The state of New Jersey has 90 days after the allegation to establish paternity.

A father can voluntarily sign a Certificate of Parentage through the paternity program called the Paternity Opportunity Program. If this is not signed in a registrar’s office or a hospital, the parents will need to change the birth certificate to add the father’s name.

Before signing this document, either parent has the right to request genetic testing. In addition, both parents have the opportunity to change their minds within 60 days of signing this document.

Ensuring a Relationship with Your Child

By establishing your paternity with the help of the Office of Child Support and Paternity Programs as well as through genetic testing, you will then be able to use the law and court system to ensure fair custody and visitation rights to your child. In addition, these steps will help ensure you can have a relationship with your child.

Get Help With Paternity and Your Parental Rights in NJ

As with most family law matters, if the right plan and course of action are not done, the outcomes are most often not favorable to one or both parties involved. If you would like more information on paternity and your parental rights in NJ, please feel free to contact Dalena & Bosch. Our entire team of family law attorneys are experts in family law matters and will guide you down the right path. We are here to lend our hand, guide you through family law issues, and help make the outcome favorable to you.

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