Legal challenges of visitation without established paternity

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Child Custody |

Parents face big legal challenges when trying to get visitation rights without established paternity in New Jersey. Without legal recognition as the child’s father, a man cannot request visitation through the courts.

This creates a tough situation for those who want to be involved in their child’s life but have not yet established paternity.

The importance of legal paternity

The first step in overcoming these challenges is to establish paternity legally. In New Jersey, there are a few ways to do this. One way is for both parents to sign a Certificate of Parentage, which is a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. If the mother does not agree to sign, the father may need to take legal action.

He can file a paternity suit in court, where the judge may order a DNA test to determine biological paternity. Once established, the father gains legal rights and responsibilities, including the right to seek visitation.

The court prioritizes the child’s best interests, and legal recognition of paternity provides the basis for this consideration. Fathers without legal paternity lack the necessary legal standing to argue for their rights. They cannot participate in decisions about the child’s welfare or gain access to school or medical records.

Legal and financial responsibilities

Establishing paternity also comes with responsibilities. Acknowledged fathers become financially responsible for their children. They may need to provide child support, which can be another challenge for some. However, those who genuinely want to be involved in their child’s life and take on the associated responsibilities must establish paternity.

Navigating the legal process

The legal process can be lengthy and emotionally taxing. Fathers may face resistance from the mother or encounter delays in the court system. They must stay persistent and seek legal counsel when needed.

Overall, the main challenge in gaining visitation rights without established paternity in New Jersey lies in the legal system’s requirement that fathers must establish legal paternity to gain any visitation or custody rights.

Fathers must understand these challenges and take the necessary steps to establish their rights and be part of their child’s life. Establishing paternity benefits both the father and the child by ensuring a stable and legally recognized relationship.



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