When you’re trying to navigate the divorce process with children, it’s normal to wonder how the court will view your suitability for custody. There’s a common perception that the court favors giving primary custody to mothers over fathers. While this may have been the case years ago, New Jersey courts have long since become more sophisticated and treat custody arrangements differently. Here’s what your New Jersey divorce lawyer wants you to understand about mothers’ rights as you pursue a divorce.
Mothers and Fathers Are Treated Equally Under New Jersey Law
Under New Jersey law, both mothers and fathers are considered equally when it comes to child custody arrangements. The court does not operate under the assumption that mothers are inherently more adept at being primary caregivers. Instead, they look at the whole picture and determine which parent can offer the most stable living situation for the child and which parent is best equipped to make difficult decisions on the child’s behalf.
Primary Caregivers Are Recognized Regardless of Gender
Often, the court will give more weight to the individual acting as a primary caregiver for the child in question. If this is the mother, then the court will likely consider giving primary custody to the mother. But if the primary caregiver is the father, the court will consider giving them primary custody.
There is no bias based on gender. Instead, the court prioritizes the well-being of the child from the very beginning. They’ll consider whether each parent is fit to raise their child, care for them, and be involved in their lives before rendering a decision.
What You Can Do to Present the Best Case
If you’re worried about getting custody of your child, the best thing you can do is present a strong case to the court. Your New Jersey divorce attorney will help you do just that. But as you prepare, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Document everything you can: Write down the parental duties and responsibilities you’ve fulfilled in recent memory. Keep receipts and track any expenses you’ve covered that relate to the care of your child. Showcase that your home is very clearly your child’s home. The more documentation you can provide, the stronger your case will be.
- Create a clear childcare plan: Your New Jersey divorce attorney will be able to offer you guidance here, but try to create a plan for all childcare and child-related needs before going to court. If you plan to split custody with your ex, outline what that would look like. If you’re pushing for sole custody, show how you’ll care for the child even when you’re busy.
- Listen to your attorney: Remember, your divorce attorney has helped individuals like you manage custody disputes. They’ll be able to advise you on how to proceed. But you’ll want to follow their advice closely.
Speak With Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
Maintaining custody as a mother is a priority for many navigating divorces. Though New Jersey treats both parents equally, there are still things you can do to make your case as strong as possible. The best place to start is by working with an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney. Contact Carvajal Law today to schedule a free consultation.