It is a mother’s right to be given the opportunity to develop and maintain a healthy, nurturing relationship with her child. A mother-child bond is essential to the health and well-being of a child and should be relentlessly protected. If you are going through a divorce or are an unmarried mother and feel your parental rights as a mother is in jeopardy, it is essential to immediately consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
At Slater & Zurz, we can appreciate the stress and frustration you are likely experiencing during this time. That is why our Experienced family law attorneys are dedicated to ensuring your rights, as well as your child’s rights, are not infringed upon. We will hold your best interests above all other concerns and advocate relentlessly to obtain the resolution you and your child deserve.
Our mothers’ rights lawyers have extensive experience handling legal issues that affect your rights as a mother. We can also provide you with expert assistance in other family law matters, such as divorce, spousal support, child support and custody. To learn more about how we can help you obtain a favorable resolution on your behalf, we welcome you to consult with one of our qualified family law attorneys in Ohio.
Schedule a FREE consultation by calling 330.762.0700 or contacting us online.
Protecting the Rights of Mothers in Ohio
For over 30 years, our Experienced family law Attorneys have helped mothers across northeast Ohio fight to protect their rights. We have the legal insight and resources to resolve your mother’s rights matter quickly and effectively. Our legal team will help you safeguard your parental rights regarding child custody, visitation, relocation, and adoption. With our experience in a wide array of family law matters, we can provide the skilled legal representation you need during any of the following:
- Custody matters involving minor children during divorce, legal separation, or when the parents are unmarried
- Determining parenting time for mothers and fathers
- Establishing paternity
- Obtaining a child support order once paternity is established
- Modifying existing child support and parenting time orders
- Enforcing established orders
We understand that every family law case is unique. That is why our child custody lawyers develop a personalized approach to each and every case we handle. Our team will implement a creative strategy to get you the result you need.
A Mother’s Custody Rights
Regarding a mother’s rights, it is important to remember that your legal and physical custody rights aren’t automatically given to you based on gender. In the U.S., no state gives legal preference to either gender. The courts solely act in the best interests of the child.
Whether you are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated, you and your child’s father have the right to file for custody, parenting time, and child support (as long as paternity has been established.)
There are two types of custody – legal custody and physical custody. Having legal custody of your child means you have the right to make important decisions on their behalf. These decisions include but are not limited to, where they go to school, what religion they practice, what medical care they receive, and what activities they participate in.
Joint legal custody or shared parental responsibility means that both you and your child’s father share in the decision-making. In contrast, if you have sole legal custody, you are the only parent making decisions on your child’s behalf. In most cases, courts prefer to award shared parenting. However, if they feel it is not in your child’s best interest, the judge will award sole custody to the appropriate parent. The court may feel sole custody is appropriate if one parent:
- Lives far away
- Is abusive or neglectful
- Is incapable of making sound decisions
If you seek full custody or joint custody or wish to regain legal custody of your child, an accomplished child custody lawyer or Family law Attorney at Slater & Zurz can help. They will ensure your position is represented skillfully and fight diligently to obtain a fair custody arrangement that aligns with your needs.
Physical Custody and Parenting Time
Physical custody refers to where the child lives regularly. You can be granted sole physical custody or shared between you and the child’s father. In Ohio, joint physical custody, referred to as “shared parenting,” does not have to be exactly equal, though it is usually relatively close to 50/50. A shared parenting arrangement will generally only work if you and your child’s father live close together and both he and you get along.
If your child resides with you most of the time, you will likely be granted sole physical custody, making you the “custodial parent.” If you are awarded sole custody, your child’s father, referred to as the “noncustodial parent,” will receive regularly scheduled time with your child. This time is referred to as “parenting time” or “visitation.”
A parent often threatens to “take the child away” from the other parent. This is generally part of an effort to get something they want from them or to get back at them for wanting to end the marriage or relationship. They may also want to minimize the amount of child support or attempt to retain the family home. The majority of these threats are empty, though they do stir up emotions of fear, anxiety, and frustration.
If you fear your child’s father will try to deny you physical custody, we urge you to contact our experienced child custody lawyer – who can ensure your time with your child will be preserved and protected.
Child Support Orders, Modifications, and Enforcement
As a mother, you have the right to seek child support from your child’s father. If paternity has been established, you can ask the court to issue a child support order, providing your child with the financial assistance they need and deserve.
If you already have a child support order in place and wish to modify it, you can ask the courts or the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency to review the established order and determine if a modification is warranted. Although to modify an existing order, there must be a significant change in either your child’s needs or the financial situation of either you or your child’s father.
In another case, you may have an existing child support order in place, but your child’s father is either behind on payments or is simply refusing to pay. In either of these situations, you can file a motion with the court asking them to enforce the order. If your child’s father has not paid the required amount of support, he will likely be found to be in contempt of court and ordered to pay the unpaid support along with any fees. In more serious situations, the court may order your child’s father to serve time in jail.
Our child custody lawyer’s assistance can be invaluable in any of these circumstances. They can help you determine the best course of action and skillfully represent your best interests in court, helping you resolve the matter quickly and effectively.
Call 330.762.0700 to arrange a FREE consultation with a northeast Ohio mothers’ rights lawyer.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
At Slater & Zurz, we take the opportunity to protect the mother-child relationship very seriously. Our northeast Family Law attorneys have always believed that it is in everyone’s best interests to resolve the conflict using alternative dispute resolution methods. However, if the issue cannot be resolved through mediation or negotiation, our experienced trial attorneys will not hesitate to advocate skillfully on your behalf in court.
If you feel your rights as a mother is in danger, we strongly urge you to consult with one of our mothers’ rights attorneys right away. We are here to fight diligently for a fair and just outcome while guiding you through what is likely a challenging chapter in your life.
We offer you a free initial consultation to ensure you understand your rights and know what options are available to you. Our Family Law Attorneys practice in Akron, Canton, and Cleveland, Ohio. Call arrange your free consultation at 330.762.0700, or contact us online.