Los Angeles Mother’s Rights Attorneys in Claremont
In modern times, traditional family roles are no longer the rule of the road. Many, if not most, families are dual-income rather than the traditional “father works, mother stays at home with the kids” arrangement. There’s an increasing number of “stay-at-home dads” as well. Family law judges no longer default to awarding child custody to the mother. Nothing about the modern approach, however, diminishes the importance of the role of a mother in her child’s life.
The rights of mothers deserve to be protected, and at Blasser Law, we aim to do just that. We help mothers in Los Angeles and across Southern California protect their rights to custody, child support, and visitation, regardless of their circumstances. If you’re a mother whose parental rights are being challenged in a divorce or other family law proceeding, our dedicated California family law attorneys are ready to help.
Your Rights as a Mother
If you are the mother of a child, you have certain legal rights, as well as certain obligations. In a divorce, California courts no longer default to awarding full or primary custody to the mother. However, mothers can argue for greater child custody rights, including both the right to decide where the child lives as well as make important decisions regarding education, religious upbringing, and medical issues.
Mothers can also seek child support from fathers who do not have primary custody. Child support is a right that belongs to the child, not the parents. Custodial parents do not typically pay, because they are satisfying their obligation by providing directly for the child. Non-custodial parents, meanwhile, are required to contribute to the support of their children. Child support is an important obligation; it’s a form of debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, payment can be directly garnished from a parent’s wages, and failing to pay court-ordered child support can lead to severe penalties, including jail time.
If you have a child support or child custody dispute with your ex or other co-parent, a seasoned Los Angeles mothers’ rights lawyer can help you protect your rights, your children, and your finances.
Legal maternity is assumed upon birth, absent some agreement to the contrary (such as an adoption arrangement or surrogate agreement). When a woman gives birth to a child, that’s her child. Paternity, however, must be affirmatively established. If the mother is married at the time of birth, her spouse will be assumed to be the child’s other parent. If the parents are unmarried, however, additional steps may need to be taken.
If both parents agree to the child’s paternity, it’s as simple as filling out a form at the hospital or county clerk’s office. If either party objects, however, or if the father is nowhere to be found, then someone will need to establish paternity in the courts. If you are a single mother and the father refuses to contribute child support, you can file a petition for a legal declaration of paternity.
The court will consider the evidence provided and may hold a hearing, and may request a genetic test to determine paternity. If the court is satisfied as to the putative father’s paternity, then the court will declare him legally the father, carrying all associated rights and responsibilities. The father will be required by law to pay a fair share of child support. The amount and schedule of child support can be set by the court upon the mother’s petition.
It’s important to keep in mind that paternity also gives the father the right to seek custody and/or visitation. If there’s no court order establishing paternity, the putative father likely cannot obtain any custody rights. If the mother is seeking child support through paternity, however, then child custody issues may arise as well.
Get an Experienced California Family Law Attorney on Your Side
Whether you are fighting for custody in a divorce or you are an unmarried parent seeking child support, custody, or visitation rights, the dedicated family law attorneys at Blasser Law are prepared to make your case. For assistance with a paternity, child support, alimony, or custody dispute in California, contact a zealous, compassionate, and effective Claremont family lawyer at Blasser Law.