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What are Father’s Rights During Times of the Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought about a great deal of uncertainty in the lives of many across the state of New Jersey. The outbreak has called for stay-at-home orders and self isolation in an effort to curb the spread. As a result of this, families of divorce may have difficulty adjusting, especially when they split custody of their child. These matters raise a variety of questions pertaining to custody and visitation. Continue reading to learn more about what rights you have as a father and retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney if you need help protecting these rights. 

What are Father’s Rights?

In any divorce case, a child’s father has certain rights and responsibilities in the life of their child. This includes the following:

  • The right to custody. This can include physical custody, legal custody, or both. When a father has physical custody, they are the parent the child lives and spends the majority of their time with. Legal custody allows them the influence over important decisions made in the child’s life. 
  • The right to visitation. It is important to know that, even if a father only has legal custody, they still have visitation rights. There are different ways to set up a parenting plan so that both parents can see their child.
  • The right to support. New Jersey requires both parents of a child to financially support them. This is done through mandatory child support payments made from the child’s non-custodial parent to the custodial parent until the court deems necessary to terminate them. 

Are these Rights Valid During Coronavirus Times?

While the times we are currently living in are unprecedented, it is important to know that the rights a father has are still applicable. Even though the circumstances of the Coronavirus may change the way a parent wants to go about their custody or visitation system as deemed by the court, they are not legally allowed to simply change the agreement on their own. This means that if the child’s other parent does not want them to stay with or visit the father due to exposure, they are required to either discuss the matter and come to an agreement with the father together or they must request a modification with the court. Until this is done, father’s still have a right to have their child during designated custody and visitation days/hours.

These same laws apply to the payment of child support. All fathers who owe child support to the other parent are required to continue their payments. It is understandable that these are trying times, and many people are losing their jobs and incomes due to the pandemic. It is because of this that a modification can also be made so that the amount or frequency of the payments can better suit the father’s current financial situation.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.