Rights of the Mother
Chester County, PA Mother’s Rights Attorney
People believe that Pennsylvania law favors a mother over the father. This is not true. Pennsylvania treats both mothers and fathers equally under the law. A mother has the right to child custody and visitation, receive child support and establish or refuse paternity
It doesn’t matter if you are an unmarried or a married mother; both have the same rights in Pennsylvania. Exercising these rights are important. An experienced family lawyer can help you understands your legal rights and take your case to court if necessary.
Chester County, PA Mother’s Rights Attorney
Ciccarelli Law Offices understands how important your rights are as a mother. The issues that you may be facing are complex, and they require the experiences of a litigation team that can only be found at Ciccarelli Law Offices.
We want to guide you through these complicated legal matters. Lee Ciccarelli has over two decades of experiences as a family lawyer. He will listen to your story and help you find the best solution to your problem. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking child custody, support or other family law matter, Ciccarelli Law Offices wants to help.
To schedule a free case consultation to discuss the specifics of your case, call (610) 692-8700 or submit your information in the online contact form. We assist mothers in areas such as West Chester, Philadelphia, Kennett Square, Paoli, Malvern, Exton, Downingtown, Coatesville, Oxford, Springfield, Malvern, King of Prussia, Radnor, Plymouth Meeting and many more.
- A Mother’s Child Custody Rights
- A Mother’s Rights to Child Support
- The Right to Seek or Refuse Paternity
- Additional Resources
A Mother’s Right to Child Custody
Pennsylvania law allows you the right to seek custody of your children. Regardless of whether you are seeking legal or physical custody, you can file a custody petition with your local county court house.
Pennsylvania courts always consider the best interest of the child when determining custody rights. They will also take a number of other factors listed under section 5328 of the Pennsylvania Statues into consideration. These factors include:
- Which party is more likely to encourage and allow continuing and frequent contact with the child and the other party.
- If any past or present abuse was committed by either party or by a member of their household
- The parental duties performed by both parties on behalf of the child
- The availability of the extended family
- The child’s relationship with siblings
- The preferences of the child, based on their maturity and judgment
- If one party has attempted to turn the child against the other party, except in cases of domestic violence.
- Which party is likely to maintain a stable, consistent and loving relationship with the child
- Which party is likely to attend to the emotional, physical, developmental, educational and special needs of the child
- The proximity of one party to the other
- The availability of both parties to care for the child or to make appropriate child-care arrangements
- The level of conflict between both parties and their ability and willingness to cooperate with each other
- History of drug or alcohol abuse of either party or any member of their household
- The mental and physical conditions of either party of any member of their household
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
The only factor the court is not allowed to take into consideration when determining child custody is gender. The law specifically states that all decision regarding child custody must gender-neutral. Any argument that one parent is more fit than the other because they are a father or a mother will be invalid in court.
A Mother’s Right to Child Support
As a mother, if you have custody of the children, you have the right to seek monetary support from the birth father. It doesn’t matter if you are going through a divorce or if you are trying to get the father of your children to offer financial support.
The amount of support is based on a monthly support schedule. Support determined by the number of children and the income of both parents. For example, the father’s monthly income is $3,500 and the two of you had three children together. He would be required to pay $1,209 in monthly support.
The amount of support can be reduced or increased based on other factors such a the child’s age, their standard of living, medical expenses not covered by insurance and the assists and liabilities of the parents.
Child support orders are not set in stone. The court can modify the order if either parent experiences a change in circumstance. This typically happens when one parent loses a job, has an increase in monthly income or moves away.
When a court orders child support to be paid, the paying parent is required to make the payments until the order is terminated or the court modifies it. The paying parent can be held in contempt if they fail to make payments.
The Right to Seek or Refuse Paternity
If you are an unmarried mother, there are additional steps you will need to take to establish the paternity of your child. This is especially true if you wish to collect child support from the child’s father. Pennsylvania law also grants you the right to refuse a man’s claim of paternity.
If a man claiming to be the father of your child submits a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, and you refuse to sign it, the Department of Public Welfare will register it as a claim of paternity. As a result, the man will not have any rights to the child. He will, however, receive notice of any proceedings involving adoption of the child.
If you want a man to file for paternity of your child, but he is refusing, you can do so through involuntary establishment of paternity. This can be done by requesting the court to establish paternity or by filing a complaint for child support.
If you and the child’s father continue to disagree on paternity, the court can order DNA testing. If the results show a match of 95% or greater, the court will issue an order of paternity and the father’s name will go on the child’s amended birth certificate. Once this is done, you will be able to file for a child support order.
Additional Resources for a Mother’s Rights in Chester County, PA
Factors to Consider When Awarding Custody | Pennsylvania Statutes – Follow this link to read the complete text of the statute that governs child custody in the state. You can read the full list of factors the court considers and what the court considers when awarding custody to grandparents. The statute can be read on the Pennsylvania General Assembly website.
Paternity | Pennsylvania Statutes– Visit the Pennsylvania General Assembly website to learn more about the states paternity laws. You can read the full text of the section that grants mothers the right to refuse paternity and the status of the father after paternity is established.
Chester County, PA Lawyer for Mother’s Rights
You are entitled to the same rights as a father in Pennsylvania. If you believe those rights are being infringed upon, you should contact [[$firm]] right away. We understand how important it is for you to exercise those fundamental rights.
Whether you are seeking child support, custody or wish to have a man establish paternity, Ciccarelli Law Offices is here to help. We have decades of collective experience helping mothers in Pennsylvania. The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices will listen to your story, and find the best legal options available for your situation.
Schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. We can be contacted at (610) 692-8700 or by submitting your information in the online contact form.
Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients in counties throughout the greater Philadelphia Metro area including Chester County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County and Montgomery County.