Morris County Mothers’ Rights Lawyer
If you are a divorced or unwed mother, you might be rightly concerned about whether you will be able to adequately enforce your legal rights to child support, custody, and all the other important issues your family may face. A Morris County mothers’ rights lawyer could help if you are experiencing legal issues regarding your children. Putting your case into the hands of a family law attorney experienced in handling mothers’ rights issues could help you better understand your rights and responsibilities under New Jersey law. You and your children deserve to have your legal dispute promptly and equitably resolved so all parties confidently move forward.
Determining who a child’s father is often crucial when it comes to understanding an unwed mother’s legal rights. If the father cannot be identified, the mother will be unable to seek monetary support to subsidize the extensive costs associated with raising a child. In New Jersey, an unwed mother can establish paternity a couple of different ways:
The simplest and most cost-effective means by which paternity can be established is for an unwed mother and the presumptive father to sign a form called a Certificate of Parentage and have it notarized. Also called voluntary acknowledgement, completing a Certificate of Parentage results in both man and woman being recognized as the child’s parents for legal purposes.
If it is disputed who the child’s biological father is, an unwed mother could file a petition asking a court to mandate genetic testing with the help of a Morris County mothers’ right attorney. Pursuing a so-called paternity action is the right of not just the child’s mother but also the child itself, the child’s legal representative, a state welfare agency (if it provides assistance to the child), and a man seeking to either establish or disestablish paternity.
Child Custody & Child Support
Assuming paternity is established, an unwed mother has the right to receive financial support for raising the child from the child’s father. And while it is true that mothers and fathers stand on equal legal footing in New Jersey for most purposes, it is still common for an unwed mother to be awarded primary physical custody. In that situation, the child would live with the mother most of the time with the father receiving partial custody or visitation rights.
Child custody matters are handled with the best interests of the child in mind. When either devising or approving a child custody arrangement, a court may weigh the following factors:
- The fitness of the parents
- The parents’ work responsibilities
- The location of the child’s school
- The ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child’s needs
- Whether there is a history of violent behavior on the part of either parent
An unwed mother can not only seek child support from her child’s father but also file a petition for child support modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. A mother may seek higher child support payments if the father obtains a higher paying job, or if she incurs greater expenses with regarding to raising the child.
Protect Your Future by Contacting a Morris County Mothers’ Rights Attorney
A divorce involving children or an out-of-wedlock pregnancy is often exceptionally challenging for everyone involved. As a mother, you deserve legal representation from an attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected. Contact a Morris County mothers’ rights lawyer to schedule a consultation and begin exploring all your options.