As a mother, you have a vital role in your child’s life. If you face a divorce or separation from the other parent, you may fear losing quality time with your child. Additionally, if your child’s father has not been legally identified, you may have concerns about establishing paternity and securing child support.
As highly-regarded family attorneys, our firm understands that the well-being of your child is your first priority. In a custody dispute, paternity case, or domestic violence action, you have legal rights to protect. A dedicated Hartford mother’s rights lawyer can work to protect those rights and preserve your relationship with your child.
Every woman has the right to be free, and to protect her child, from abuse. Connecticut General Statute §46b-15 defines domestic violence as stalking or a continuous threat of physical pain, injury, or other acts of violence. A mother who fears for her or her child’s safety may seek a restraining order, also known as a Relief From Abuse Order, and request that the abuser be prohibited from contacting her and the child.
To obtain a Relief From Abuse Order, a mother must file a sworn affidavit in superior court describing the abuse. The judge then has the option to grant the restraining order based upon this affidavit. Within two weeks, a hearing will then be scheduled. . However, the mother should have a compassionate attorney to uphold her rights and explain the legal process for protection from domestic abuse before going forward.
At the hearing, a judge has the option to grant the restraining order for up to one year.
In the past, judges favored awarding custody to mothers over fathers based on the ‘tender years’ doctrine, which generally stated that young children were better cared for by their mothers. However, that doctrine has been abolished, and under current state law, mothers and fathers are considered equally capable of raising children. Nevertheless, a mother still has the right to seek sole custody if she believes her children will thrive in her care, or if she fears the father might harm the children in some way.
Additionally, a judge must consider what is in a child’s best interest when determining custody. To make this determination, the judge assesses such factors as the child’s age, each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs, and whether the parents are capable of co-parenting the child. A mother facing a custody dispute should consider consulting an experienced lawyer in Hartford to discuss the ‘best interest’ standard and her legal options and rights for custody.
If a mother is the custodial parent of the child, a judge may award visitation to the father and order him to pay child support. If he does not comply with those orders, the mother has the right to seek to enforce them by filing a motion for contempt.
In cases where a father is in contempt, the court may sanction him by requiring him to comply with the order, pay the mother’s legal fees, or even serve time in jail until he complies with the court order.
As a mother, it is essential to stand up for yourself in any court proceeding where your rights are challenged. Speaking to an experienced and dedicated Hartford mother’s rights lawyer can help you better understand your rights and how to enforce them. Our firm’s dedicated attorneys understand what is at stake in cases involving the well-being of you and your children and will work vigorously to ensure the best possible outcome. Call today to schedule a consultation.