Legal Question in Family Law in New Jersey

fathers rights?

i was informed of my daughters birth when she was 6 months old. she was currently living with a couple on a temp basis because the state interviened against biological mother. i was given custodial rights and gave permission for them(couple) to maintain residental. seven years later im married, career job and another child on the way. i filed to remove right of the couple and give me back full custody. ive since moved out of state. i have all info to show courts i can provide a healthly enviroment for my daughter. the couple is fighting on grounds they have been phycological parents. can a biological father who has never failed in visitation, support, medical, etc. loose so easily against a non biological couple? note: there are not any problems or records in my past that would establish me as unfit. only that i was young and unstable at the time i found out she was born.

Asked on 4/20/05, 12:07 am

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: fathers rights?

Generally, a "stranger" does not have rights to custody of a child over that of a natural "qualified" parent.

However, in this case, you seek to remove your 7 year old child from the only home and family she has known. Which can be a an extremely traumatic event, in the life of a child.

Thus, the Court's primary consideration will be the "Best Interests" of the child. Which could mean the Court will decide, that your child should not be removed from her (surrogate) parent's home, at this time; especially if she developing and maturing "nicely" under the present arrangment.

Assuming they are really the devoted parents they appear to be. Think about working out a compromise arrangment with the foster parents, in order to maintain stability in your child's life and your expanding family.

Good luck,

Phroska L. McAlister,ESQ

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Answered on 4/21/05, 12:29 am
Gary Moore Gary Moore Attorney At Law

Re: fathers rights?

You are in a gray area between the father or mother who abandons parental rights and obligations for years while the child develops a profound relationship with person acting as parents and the parent who, in the short term, leaves a child with relatives due to temporary inability to act as a parent.

The child's attachment to the custodial "parents"

is going to be taken into account.

I could not predict the outcome of a custody battle.

Gary Moore, Esquire

Hackensack, New Jersey

800 273 7933

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Answered on 4/20/05, 2:51 am

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