Few things can provoke a mother’s anxiety like the thought of losing custody of her children. Providing financially for your children can also be highly stressful, especially if a father fails to meet his obligation to pay child support. A Maryland mother’s rights lawyer is ready to advocate for your rights and the rights of your children.
A high-conflict divorce or a custody case can result in decisions that do not meet your needs. If you are not married to the father of a child, it can be arduous to obtain the economic maintenance needed to help your child thrive. In these difficult situations, an family attorney familiar with your rights as a mother is available to help.
What Rights Do Mothers Have in Maryland?
If parents do not live together, whether divorced or unmarried, both father and mother are responsible for the well-being of their children. Maryland law does not favor one parent over the other when a court decides custody. The rights and responsibilities of both parents are equal under the law. The question becomes how to make sure those rights are protected and enforced.
There are two main types of child custody rights. Legal custody allows a parent the right to make decisions for and about the child regarding their health, education, religion, and other issues related to their well-being. Physical custody means the child lives with a parent for a specified period, and the parent does the day-to-day care for that child.
Attorneys in Maryland familiar with family and mother’s rights can help with the more subtle types of custody plans. Sole custody means one parent has primary physical custody. In a joint legal custody scenario, parents share decision-making for the child. Shared or joint custody involves both parents having a percentage of physical custody. Often, parents can agree on these arrangements, but unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to get one parent to concur.
The Maryland Child Support Guidelines govern the amount of financial support one parent owes the other. In cases of sole custody, the non-custodial parent owes support to the non-custodial parent. Where custody is shared, the Maryland Child Support Guidelines will control the amount of child support to be paid based on the percentage of time individual parents have with that child.
If a father fails to pay court-ordered support, the children’s mother may struggle to take care of basic needs. An attorney could help prepare a motion to compel payment, and a court can even garnish the father’s wages.
If a biological father does not take responsibility for a child, a mother can still file for child support against him for the benefit of the child. On the other hand, if a reckless or dangerous father puts children at risk, an attorney understands what it takes to prove a parent unfit and to have him lost custody or in extreme situations even his parental rights.
When a Mother’s Rights Are Violated
Whether parents have been married or not, courts want all custody arrangements filed and in writing. If a father is not complying with the court-ordered agreement or court order, an attorney familiar with mothers’ rights can advocate for compliance or file a motion for contempt or other appropriate enforcement mechanism. Courts take financial obligations towards children very seriously, and if a father intentionally fails to pay support, the courts may severely sanction that parent and may even award attorney’s fees against him and in favor of the mother.
When parents separate or head towards divorce, they can agree about custody, although child support must follow the guidelines. In a high-conflict separation, a mother may need help advocating for the best custody situation for the children. If parents cannot agree, a court will ultimately hear testimony about what is in the children’s best interests in determining custody.
How a Maryland Mother’s Rights Lawyer Could Help
There are few things more unsettling than the prospect of losing contact with your children, or not having enough money to support them. You may feel intimidated by the court process or the child’s father, yet there is a lot at stake. A Maryland mother’s rights lawyer understands this stress as well as the laws that can support your rights. Professional guidance could help light the way in these difficult situations, and our attorneys are here to help.