A Frederick mothers’ rights lawyer can help you safeguard your relationship with your kids if you are facing divorce or a custody battle with your former partner. A family court will look at the best interests of your child when determining custody and does not automatically favor one parent over the other in terms of who should be awarded custodial rights. A child custody attorney can help you understand your legal rights and discuss the most effective options to pursue the most beneficial arrangement for you and your child.

Rights of Unmarried Mothers in Frederick

When a child’s parents are married, both parties have joint custody of the child. However, if a child is born to parents who are not married, the mother may be the primary custodian of the child, but the father also has equal parental rights if he is on the birth certificate and his paternity is acknowledged. Just because a mother is unmarried does not mean that she can deny the father his rights of access. It is important for an unmarried mother to consult with an attorney to proceed in the best way possible for her to maintain her custodial rights to the child.

If a father’s paternity is proven and he wishes to pursue custody, a Frederick attorney can assist the mother with protecting her parental rights. It could be advisable for the mother to reach a custody agreement with the father in the best interests of their child. In other situations, a mother may decide to request sole custody of her child. A lawyer can help a mother petition for joint or sole custody, as well as assist with pursuing child support, if applicable.

Legal Custody

If a mother cannot agree with the father on the custody of their child, she may pursue joint or sole legal custody. If a mother is granted sole legal custody of her child, this means that she can make decisions about where the child will go to school, the religion they will practice, and the medical care they will receive. Courts commonly grant the mother and father joint legal custody but could award sole legal custody or joint legal custody with tie breaking authority to the mother if they determine such an arrangement to be in the child’s best interests.

Physical Custody

Physical custody indicates which parent the child lives with. Often, the court will award shared physical custody, unless there is evidence which suggests that doing so would place the child at risk. If a mother is granted physical custody of her child, a Frederick attorney could help her seek child support from the non-custodial parent. Child support is primarily determined by the income of each parent and paid by non-custodial parent.

Factors in Determining the Best Interests of a Child

In a divorce case or paternity action, a judge will look at whether permitting sole or joint custodial rights to either parent would most benefit the child. Mothers are often the primary caregiver to their children, which could be a significant factor in the court’s decisions on future custody arrangements. The child’s wishes, as well as the mother’s residence and caring capacity, may also impact the court’s final ruling on her parental rights, in addition to many other factors the court may consider.

Schedule a Consultation with a Frederick Mothers’ Rights Attorney

If you need help protecting your rights as a mother, whether due to divorce or a custody action filed by your ex, a Frederick mothers’ rights lawyer can support you through every step of the legal process. An attorney from our firm would understand how difficult these cases can be for both you and your children and can help ease your burden while fighting aggressively to preserve your rights. Call us today for your case review.