Your children’s well-being is the most important thing in the world to you. When a legal issue affects your children or your parental relationship with them, you might be concerned about persuading a judge to see things your way.

As family attorneys committed to preserving and protecting the relationship between mothers and children, we do everything we can to support your point of view. Contact a Marietta mother’s rights lawyer for assistance in any legal proceeding that could affect your relationship with your children.

The Rights of Unmarried Mothers

A child born to unmarried parents has only one legal parent—the mother. A man has no paternal rights unless and until he legitimates the child. If a father who never married a mother does not legitimate the child, the man has no rights to visitation or custody and no decision-making authority over the child. Even if the father petitions to legitimate the child, he will only receive custody or visitation rights if the family court believes it is in the child’s best interests.

If you never married your child’s father, he never acknowledged paternity, and you want child support, you could bring a legal action to force him to take a DNA test. If the test indicates the man is your child’s father, Georgia courts will issue a child support order. If your child’s father seeks visitation rights over your objection, a Marietta mother’s rights attorney can ensure the judge understands your concerns.

Standing Up for Mothers in Divorce Actions

Family law once favored mothers in child custody disputes, but that is not the case anymore. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-9-3(a) requires judges to make custody decisions based on the child’s best interests. They cannot favor one parent over another due to their gender.

This change concerns many mothers who worry their husbands might seek custody out of spite. Courts generally favor allowing both parents to have significant parenting time. When a mother is concerned about a father’s capacity to be a responsible parent, a Marietta attorney could help her compile evidence demonstrating the father’s unfitness and present it to the court.

Recent convictions for family violence, current criminal activity, drug use, or untreated mental health disorders could spur a court to limit the time a father spends with their children. However, Georgia family courts rarely cut off contact entirely.

Determining What Is in the Child’s Best Interests

The judge must always consider what is in a child’s best interests when they decide on issues concerning the child. Family law lists multiple factors a Georgia court could consider. A Marietta attorney can draw the judge’s attention to how a mother provides a more stable and comfortable home environment.

Among the factors a court could consider are each parent’s:

  • Age, physical health, and mental health;
  • Experience and performance as a primary caregiver;
  • Relationship with each child;
  • Understanding of each child’s physical, emotional, educational, and social needs;
  • Ability to co-parent cooperatively and effectively;
  • Work schedule.

If the court appointed a Guardian ad Litem (GAL), the GAL’s report also influences the judge’s decision.

Judges could also consider the child’s preference. They must allow children 14 and over to decide which parent they want to live with unless the judge decides the child’s choice is not in their best interests.

Speak with a Marietta Mother’s Rights Attorney to Protect Your Family

When you are nervous about what a legal proceeding might mean for your relationship with your children, contact a Marietta mother’s rights lawyer from our firm. We can review your situation, explain what to expect, and help you present a convincing argument to the judge.

Do not face these challenging issues without advice from a seasoned attorney. Schedule a consultation today.

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