In some cases, New Jersey residents who are non-custodial parents may be looked down upon due to a number of myths surrounding separated or divorced parents. However, many of these myths are false as non-custodial parents can still share legal custody, have extensive visitation rights and provide financial support for their children. The myths can be devastating for non-custodial parents who are actively working to remain in their children's lives.
One of the main myths often heard is that all non-custodial parents are deadbeats. While there certainly are parents who do not pay the child support that they owe, there are many other non-custodial parents who make it their priority to ensure that their children have everything they need. Furthermore, many non-custodial parents still remain active in their children's day-to-day lives.
Another common myth is that all non-custodial parents gave up custody of their children voluntarily. This is not always true. While there are some parents who actively choose not to be involved in their children's lives, others chose to voluntarily give up physical custody because it was in the best interests of the children. By living primarily at one home, children do not have to travel back and forth. However, these non-custodial parents often have a set visitation schedule so that they can still develop strong relationships with their children.
When determining where the children will live after a divorce, the court may make decisions based on the children's relationships with parents, the children's specific needs and the home life of each parent. Even if a parent is not given primary custody, he or she may share legal custody and seek visitation. A family law attorney may help negotiate a visitation schedule and a parenting plan so that the non-custodial parent still plays a role in raising the children.