According to research conducted by the Urban Institute, about 70 percent of delinquent child support in New Jersey and around the country is owed by noncustodial parents who either report no income or earn less than $10,000. Other studies have found that noncustodial parents who are unable to meet their child support obligations are disproportionately African-American. A documentary dealing with these issues and the challenges faced by noncustodial fathers of color has recently been released.
There are a number of reasons that either a mother or a father in New Jersey might want to establish paternity if the parents are not married. Establishing paternity is the first step in obtaining child support, but the potential financial benefits go beyond that. It is also necessary for a child to inherit from the father and get benefits such as Social Security. Finally, establishing paternity could help the child get information about any medical genetic issues that might arise.
When New Jersey parents of young children get a divorce, a variety of schedules for child custody and visitation may be available. The most important elements of such a plan are that parents are on time and that they are able to offer support to their children.
New Jersey fans of the rapper and singer Nas and Kelis may be aware that the two have had ongoing disputes about child custody. The two reached an agreement in March over time with their 8-year-old son, and the agreement reportedly included who would get the child on certain holidays.
Although child custody and visitation are often talked about together, they are two different things. For a parent in New Jersey, visitation may mean that the child can spend time with that parent but not live full-time with him or her. If one parent has custody and the other parent has visitation, a typical arrangement is for the child to spend the majority of time with the custodial parent.
The outcomes of child custody cases in New Jersey depend heavily on the facts. In most cases though, judges make their determinations based on one or more of a few different factors. Custody cases generally turn on the best interests of the child or children involved. The best interests criterion may include almost anything related to the children. The ages of the children, their routines, their educations and their preferences may bear on the judge's decision.
Statistics show that roughly 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce. That number increases to 60 percent for those married for a second time. When these separations occur, New Jersey parents should be aware that they are divorcing each other and not their children. Therefore, noncustodial parents should make an effort to be in their children's lives even if they are no longer living in the same household.
When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may wonder what kind of custody arrangement would best suit their children. Research shows that in the absence of serious problems such as abuse, the best solution for children is joint custody.
For New Jersey parents who are going through a divorce, dealing with matters related to their children can be some of the most emotional and challenging aspects. The best interests of the children should be paramount for both parties, even when it is extremely difficult for the divorcing spouses to see eye-to-eye on other matters. Absent a context of abuse, it is critical for children's emotional development to retain their close relationship with both of their parents.
Family law matters involving children may change in New Jersey if two bills become law that alter child custody determinations. Under these new proposed rules, a presumption would exist in child custody cases that a child would live with each parent for approximately equal time periods. Agreeing on child custody arrangements is difficult for many couples going through a divorce, and these new rules seek to eliminate the uncertainty and pitfalls surrounding this topic.