A mother's rights to custody vary in different states. In addition, the rights vary depending on her marital status at the time of birth. In case you are unmarried, the mother gets full custody. However, if you are married, you have equal custody rights as your husband at the time of birth. It remains the case until the court decides otherwise. So, here are some of the mother's rights during a child custody case.
In most cases, people assume that mothers have special rights when it comes to child custody. But the truth is no custody law in the US gives mothers additional rights or a preference. Instead, the judges listen to both parties' opinions and award custody according to the child's best interests. The court considers numerous factors to determine which parent is best to receive the child's custody.
That means that the child's interest will prevail compared to the parents' wishes or requests. In child's custody, there are two types of custody:
Physical custody - refers to the time you spend with your child physically. If you have physical custody, you are accountable for making daily parenting decisions.
Legal custody- entails a right to making significant decisions for your child. They include education, religion, and healthcare. Note one parent may have physical custody, but both parents share legal custody.
How the Court Determines Mother’s Rights
When deciding Mother's rights, the court first considers whether the child was born out of wedlock. The custody rules applying to unmarried parents differ based on the jurisdiction. However, to know your state's rules, you can get a child custody lawyer to help you.
If a child is born out of a union, establishing parental rights can complicate the process. By law, custody is given to the unmarried mother. However, note there are occasions where it's not in the child's best interests. In such cases, the biological father has the right to fight for custody with the help of a child custody lawyer.
However, as the child's primary caregiver, the mother has the legal authority to make all decisions regarding the child. It includes the right to:
A Mother's Rights to a Child born to Married Parents
In child custody cases, the main factors to be considered are maternal/paternal assumptions. It means that a child born to a married couple is both the father's and mother's child. The courts sided with the mother when giving child custody in the past, but things have changed. It's due to the change in gender roles in recent times. Now more women are working while some men are the caregivers at home. Because of this, custody laws are neutral, so the law isn’t favoring the mother over the father.
Mostly, the court makes its decision based on the child's best interest. It doesn't matter what state you are in; the courts will focus on similar factors. Some of these factors include:
Child custody cases are prevalent in the modern era due to divorces. But when fighting for child custody, make sure you have the child's best interests.