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Although mothers and fathers have the same divorce and custody rights in Georgia, women often face unique challenges in these cases. If you are involved in a legal matter that may impact your financial security or time with your children, seek help from a caring Atlanta mothers’ rights lawyer. Our legal team can help determine what you are entitled to in a divorce or custody case and work to ensure that your claim is handled appropriately.

How Does Paternity Impact a Mother’s Rights?

If the identity of a child’s father is unconfirmed, the mother must first obtain an order establishing paternity before she can receive child support. Additionally, a child may not be eligible for certain Social Security benefits unless paternity has been determined. Accordingly, a mom must assert her legal right to identify her child’s father and hold him accountable for support.

A mother should know that establishing paternity does not immediately give a father custody or visitation rights. He must still petition the court if he wants court-ordered time with his child. A mom with questions about the impact of paternity proceedings on her rights should consult a knowledgeable lawyer in Atlanta.

A Mother’s Right to Seek Sole Custody

Although state law encourages both parents’ involvement in their children’s lives, there are situations when the child is better protected in the mom’s sole custody.

When determining custody and parenting time, a judge will apply the “best interest of the child” standard outlined in Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-3. To determine a child’s best interests, the court may consider numerous factors, including:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent;
  • Each parent’s home environment;
  • The child’s relationship with their siblings;
  • Each parent’s mental, physical, and financial stability;
  • Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent; and
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s day-to-day needs.

If a father is abusive, has untreated mental health issues, or engages in dangerous behavior like drug use, a mother may seek to suspend or terminate his time with their child. A mother genuinely concerned that the father may harm their child during visits can also request a neutral third party to supervise all contact between them. In any custody case where a mom feels sole custody is the better choice for her child, she should speak with a skilled Atlanta attorney.

Enforcing a Mother’s Right to Visitation

If a mother is not awarded sole or shared custody, she is still entitled to visitation with her child, as long as she is a fit parent. If the child’s other parent interferes with the mom’s court-ordered visitation, she may file a petition for contempt of court. A well-practiced lawyer understands contempt of court proceedings and can protect a mother’s relationship with her child.

Mothers’ Rights in Atlanta Divorce Actions

Whether caring for the children, managing the finances, or putting a career on hold to care for home, a mom’s contributions to her family are often immeasurable. When determining spousal support during a divorce, it is essential for a judge to fully recognize the weight of a mother’s efforts. If you weren’t the primary breadwinner in your family, a seasoned mothers’ rights attorney could advocate for a support amount that meets your needs.

Additionally, moms have a right to a fair division of marital property upon divorce. State law mandates judges to allocate marital assets ‘equitably’ between divorcing spouses. In doing so, a judge must consider a mother’s monetary and nonmonetary contributions to the marriage. Accordingly, it is vital to have a capable attorney present evidence demonstrating how a mother’s efforts benefitted the family.

Contact an Atlanta Mothers’ Rights Attorney Today

In the past, the courts favored mothers over fathers when determining custody. The law has changed, and now there is no presumption that a mother is a better caregiver than a father. However, if you do not believe that your children will thrive in their father’s care, you must take action to protect your right to sole custody and prove that you are the more capable parent.

You also have certain rights as a mother to child support and a fair marital property division. An experienced Atlanta mothers’ rights lawyer can vigorously defend these rights and help you successfully resolve your case. Call today to get started.

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