Traditionally, mothers are often seen as children’s primary caretakers. However, modern legal standards presume equal parental rights for both mothers and fathers. If you are a mother who needs help fighting for her rights, a Montgomery County mother’s rights lawyer could help you work toward a positive resolution to your case. Speak to a family attorney to discuss your rights as a mother.
What is the Law in Montgomery County on Mother’s Rights?
Maryland state law codified in Md. Code Ann. Family Law §5-203 states that both parents are the natural guardians of a child. The law also states that there is no presumption that either parent has custody rights superior to the other parent.
If a mother and father of a child are not married, the father must legally establish paternity to have any rights to the child. The mother and father can do this together by both signing an affidavit of parentage. However, if the parents do not sign an affidavit of parentage, either parent can file a paternity action in court. Until a father’s paternity is established, a mother will have full physical and legal custody of the child.
Since there is no automatic presumption that mothers have superior rights to fathers in child custody matters, courts decide custody issues based primarily on what would be in the best interest of the children. When making these determinations, a court will consider a multitude of factors, depending on the circumstances of the case. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the health and age of the parents, their ability to care for the child, the parents’ lifestyles, the parents’ relationship to the child, the geographic proximity to each other, and more.
If the child is mature enough, the court may also consider their wishes when making the custody determination. However, that is generally frowned upon. In all custody disputes, courts will make the determination based primarily on the best interest of the child. When child custody is at stake, it is best to call a local attorney who could assist a family with advocating for their parental rights.
Claiming Child Support in Montgomery County
Both parents are viewed as having an equal obligation to support their children in Maryland. When couples split up, the non-custodial parent, often the father, may be required to pay child support for their children. If the identity of the father is not clear, or if it is contested, a court can order a paternity test. Once the identity of the father is established, a court can compel the father to pay child support if child support is requested. The support payments will vary in amount based on income and number of children and the number of overnights the non-custodial parent receives. Child support amounts can also be modified by the court when circumstances change.
In cases of divorce, if the divorcing couple is able to come to an agreement on an amount of child support, this can be incorporated into the divorce decree, provided that the agreement is approved by the court. Montgomery County mothers who believe that they may be owed child support should contact a local mother’s rights attorney who could assist with drafting and filing their petition.
Call a Montgomery County Mother’s Rights Lawyer Today
When a couple splits up, some of the most difficult issues to resolve are the issues of child custody and child support. The law in Maryland does not provide an automatic presumption that custody will go to the mother. Courts, however, will consider the facts of the case to determine what is in the best interest of the children.
If you are a mother who needs legal assistance arguing for her rights to her child, a Montgomery County mother’s rights lawyer could help you to fight for a favorable outcome to your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.