Mothers' Child Custody Rights And Paternity
Under normal circumstances, both parents will play an important role in the lives of their children. While things are different these days than in the past, courts still tend to lean towards the mother as the primary caregiver. In cases where the father earns a great deal more than the mother, the father still does not get greater child custody rights than the mother based on income alone.
Most states have child custody rights that allow mothers to ask for paternity testing on to confirm that the other parent is the child's true biological father. The court may order DNA paternity testing if needed. Once it is established that the other parent is the biological father of the child, the mother may seek child support and other financial assistance for the child in question. Mothers must realize that under these circumstances, the father has child custody rights which will allow him to seek physical and/or legal child custody and he will also be possibly be awarded visitation rights.
There are two types of child custody, legal and physical. Physical custody refers to the parent that the child has a residence with while legal custody means the parent who makes all the decisions about the child's life. Unless mothers are found to be unfit for addiction, abuse, or similar issues, they will usually share joint custody rights the biological father. When joint custody is granted, the child or children may live with each parent for a designated period of time. You will need to work out a visitation schedule as part of your child custody agreement.
A single mother's child custody rights are total when she gives birth to a child while she is unmarried. Unless the father establishes paternity in order to get custody and visitation right, the mother is considered to have sole custody rights.
All fifty states have statutes that clearly outline a mother's child custody rights. Not only can the mother assume the role as the primary caregiver, but she can request support from the father. In the event that he does not pay ordered child support, the father can be taken to court, or the back support can be pursued by the legal system.
As long as there is not reason that the courts will deem you unfit as a mother, your custody rights will allow you to remain as your child's primary caregiver and to seek support of the biological father. This is why establishing paternity is important for a mother's child custody rights.
by: Hera Nelsun