Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

When a woman needs to file for divorce or commence a family court proceeding regarding custody, child support, paternity, or domestic violence, there are complex laws her attorney must know to present her case effectively.

If you are a mother with questions about your legal rights, a caring Simi Valley mothers’ rights lawyer may have the answers. Our family law attorneys have substantial experience in domestic relations matters and could work tirelessly to defend your rights as a mom.

Mothers’ Legal Rights

Regardless of the type of family law matter she is involved in, a mother has certain legal rights that must be protected, including the right to:

  • Be safe from domestic violence
  • Protect her child from domestic violence
  • Court-ordered custody or visitation
  • Exercise her custodial or visitation rights free from the other parent’s interference
  • Take legal action if the other parent violates a child access order
  • File an emergency action to protect her child if the other parent is putting the child in danger

If the father or another party challenges these rights, a diligent attorney in Simi Valley could prepare any necessary legal pleadings and represent the mother in court.

Current Law Prefers Joint Custody

Years ago, many states held a presumption that mothers were better caregivers for their children than fathers. This ‘maternal preference’ has since been abolished, and both parents are now considered equally capable of caring for their children. In fact, California Family Code §3040 mandates that custody be granted to parents jointly, as long as it is in the child’s best interests.

However, equal co-parenting does not always benefit the child. For example, if the father has a history of drug or alcohol abuse or an untreated mental illness, a judge may award primary custody to the mother to protect the child from harm. Another circumstance under which sole or primary custody to the mother may be better for the child is when the mother or child has suffered domestic violence at the hands of the father.

Even if a judge grants full custody to the mother, the father still has a right to visit with his child. Creating a parenting plan that affords the father visitation can be challenging when the mother has genuine concerns about his ability to keep the child safe. A knowledgeable lawyer in Simi Valley could explain a mother’s legal rights and how best to craft a visitation agreement that preserves the child’s safety and well-being.

Mothers’ Right to Establish Paternity

Under state law, if a mother is unmarried when her child is born, she is presumed to have sole legal and physical custody and may control the nature and frequency of contact with the father. However, unless the father’s paternity is legally established, the mother has no right to request child support or rely upon the father to physically and emotionally support the child. To create an obligation for child support, a mother may need to file a petition with a Simi Valley family court to establish her child’s father’s paternity with the assistance of a dedicated attorney.

Right to Modify Child Custody and Support Orders

No matter when a judge issues a custody or child support order, a mother has the right to request a modification if it is no longer meeting her child’s needs. For example, a shared physical custody order may no longer be appropriate if the father remarries, and his new spouse has a contentious or even harmful relationship with the child. A practiced mothers’ rights lawyer in Simi Valley could explain the process of modification and help determine if circumstances warrant changing a court order.

Contact a Compassionate Mothers’ Rights Attorney Today

The thought of losing time with your child or having to send them to an unsafe environment with the other parent can be overwhelming. A skilled Simi Valley mothers’ rights lawyer could explain your legal options and help safeguard your rights to your child. Reach out today to learn more about protecting your interests as a mother.

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Hoffer Family Law Firm