Father’s Day a Time for Reflection on Father’s Rights in New Jersey Custody and Child Support Cases
For many fathers dealing with divorce it is a time for reflection and for a renewed commitment to doing what’s in the best interest of their children. Our Morristown child custody lawyers have worked with hundreds of fathers and we understand the frustration (even the discrimination) that is unique to fathers going through a New Jersey divorce.
Father’s rights are critical. The default system of child custody (visitation for the father every other week, alternating holidays and two weeks in the summer) is slowly changing. Several states, including Georgia, are in the process of considering joint custody mandates. Still, it is often the father who has an uphill battle in fights for child custody.
And the issue of child support is one upon which we could write volumes. You can’t even get a passport with significant back child support and that may be the least of your worries because your driver’s license may be suspended. In fact, you can’t even get a hunting or fishing license (no we didn’t just make that up).
Having a New Jersey divorce lawyer who understands the challenges and pitfalls can go a long way toward protecting your relationship with your child, as well as your financial and emotional well-being. Unrepresented, however, a father can find himself facing one pitfall after another. The Center for American Progress is using the month of June to push for father’s rights. The center points out federally funded programs aimed at supporting fathers are dwarfed by the $5.8 billion child support enforcement program, which too often punishes father’s who are too poor to pay. What the center calls “token efforts focused on visitation” is another long-standing issue.
The downturn in the economy can make the consequences of falling behind on child support all too real. The amount of child support taken from unemployment checks has tripled in the last two years. Consequences of nonpayment can include imprisonment, loss of driver’s license, wage garnishment and even the public humiliation associated with having your picture published in the newspaper or put on television.
Ensuring child support is established properly and revisiting the requirements after a change in job status can both go a long way toward ensuring a father does not suffer the worst of these consequences. But a father must remain proactive and out in front of the issue. Waiting until serious arrears develop can complicate matters. In any event, contacting an experienced Family Law attorney in Morristown is the first step to protecting your financial well-being and your relationship with your children.
If you need to speak with a child custody or divorce lawyer in Morristown, contact (973) 455-1220 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.