For most mothers, the right to make decisions and act as a parent to their children is important. While there are certain rights that come with parenthood, there are also responsibilities to be aware of. In custody or visitation cases, the rights of the child may supersede everything else.
When you have questions about your parental rights, now is the time to speak with a dedicated family attorney. The outcomes of these cases could have a dramatic impact on your relationship with your children. Give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome with the help of an Oklahoma City mother’s rights lawyer from The Smith Firm.
Some parental rights begin the moment the mother gives birth. When an unmarried woman gives birth to a child, she is automatically given sole custody of the baby after they are born. These rights are in effect right away without the need to petition the court.
The law does not offer the same approach when it comes to fathers. While a mother has these de facto rights, a court must award the rights and responsibilities of parenthood to a father. This is especially true in cases where the parents are unmarried and there is not a presumption of paternity under the law.
There is a common misconception that mothers always get preferential treatment in child custody, support, and visitation cases. In reality, the law treats both parents equally. Each party has the option to petition the court for certain visitation or custody arrangements.
While there might be judges who favor mothers in some situations, the courts generally look at the facts of each case considering the needs of the minor. The child’s interests are the primary factor a judge must focus on. A mother’s rights lawyer in Oklahoma City could help clarify these interests.
The mother of a minor child also has the right to seek support from the father when the two are unmarried or divorced. When the court has not yet established the father’s legal rights as a parent, the first step in securing this support is through a paternity action. A mother’s rights lawyer based on Oklahoma City could assist in moving forward with these actions.
If both sides are in agreement, establishing paternity could be done with a voluntary acknowledgment at the time the child is born. While handling these matters amicably is the easiest way, this approach is not always an option.
There are also times when conflict prevents the parents from voluntarily acknowledging paternity. In these cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and have courts use a DNA test to determine the identity of the father.
Once a judge establishes paternity, the court also has the power to order child support payments. These monetary payments are intended to cover the child’s basic needs regardless of the specific nature of the custody agreement.
As the mother of a child, you may have rights under the law, but it is also vital to enforce them. Failure to stand up for those rights could have a devastating impact on your future relationship with your child.
The stakes are too high to handle a custody or visitation case on your own. Call an Oklahoma City mother’s rights lawyer today for your initial consultation. The Smith Firm is here to help you in this critical time.