Child Custody Rights Of Mothers
As a mother, you have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to your children
. These are not new--you have actually had them since the day your child was born. They simply become more obvious when you are seeking custody of your children.
Mothers and fathers have the right to seek legal custody of your child. Legal custody means that you can have input into the way your child is brought up, and into his or her daily life. If you have legal custody, you have the right to make decisions about your child's education, home life, religious upbringing, and health care.
Legal custody may be awarded to one parent only (called sole legal custody), or to both parents together (called joint legal custody). Joint legal custody is generally the preferred arrangement, unless one parent is considered unfit or is abusive. It is possible to share legal custody, but have sole physical custody of a child.
Physical custody refers to where a child lives and sleeps. For small children, it is often preferable to have the child live in one home, and visit the other parent during the daytime. It is less disruptive to their daily life and to their overall development.
Sole physical custody means that the child or children live with one parent only, and have scheduled visits with the other parent. In some circumstances, the visits may be supervised, if the visiting parent is considered to be unfit in some way, or a potential hazard to the child. A mother can seek for sole physical custody and will most likely get it if she has been the primary caretaker of the children.
Most children benefit best from joint physical custody arrangements, which allow both parents to spend time with the children. Depending on the age of the children in question, they may travel back and forth to different homes throughout the week, or live with one parent during the week, and the other on weekends.
Along with your rights, you have responsibilities to your child as well, even if you are not the custodial parent. You have a financial responsibility to your children, and may be ordered to pay child support. Mothers can be required to pay child support if the children are living with the father. Payment of support does not guarantee that you will be awarded visitation if there are other parenting issues present. If you fail to pay court ordered support, this will not bar you from seeing your children on your court approved schedule, but it is your responsibility to make the payments as ordered, and you can be taken back to court if you don't comply.
In determining child custody, your rights as a mother are important, but the most important factor will be the best interests of your child. If being placed in your custody is what is best for your child, then the court will decide in your favor.
by: Hera Nelsun
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