In the past, courts handling family law cases often assumed that mothers were better-suited to raise children than fathers. This often resulted in custody arrangements where the child primarily lived with the mother while the father had only limited visitation rights.
Recent changes to Georgia law now establish a baseline expectation that both parents are equally capable of raising a child regardless of their gender. Consequently, mothers must now present convincing cases in any divorce or separation hearing to demonstrate why they should have custody of their children.
A Forsyth County mother’s rights lawyer could help to make such a case. Dedicated family attorneys could present evidence that demonstrates your fitness as a parent and your ability to provide a safe and stable home for your children, as well as answer any questions you may have concerning child support.
The courts in Forsyth County are dedicated to the idea that all people deserve an equal chance to plead their case and be protected in an equal manner under the law. As stated by the Official Code of Georgia §19-9-3(a)(1), judges and juries in child custody matters must not consider a person’s gender during any child custody or support case.
Consequently, mothers no longer benefit from the presumption that a child should remain in their custody following a divorce or legal separation. A Forsyth County attorney could help mothers understand their rights and the diminished role that their gender plays in child custody matters.
While the overarching mandate for all family courts is to do what is in the best interests of a child, this does not always align with a mother’s wishes. Even if a mother believes that they can provide the best home for their child, the child’s father has equal rights under the law and could make a claim to demand custody.
When making custody determinations, the court would examine each parent’s fitness to raise a child. This analysis examines both parents’ finances, history of abuse, and general support structure, but not the genders of the parents. Under typical circumstances, a court would order a joint custody plan split between the two parents.
Also, the court can no longer assume that a father will pay child support. Instead, a court could order any non-custodial parent to pay monetary support regardless of their gender. A mother’s rights lawyer in Forsyth County could help build a case to demonstrate that the mother would be the better choice to care for the child.
While both mothers and fathers should want what is best for their children, family courts in Forsyth County are legally required to operate on this same principle. Specifically, judges are required to make decisions that are in the best interest of a child no matter what the parents may want.
This analysis no longer considers the gender of parents in awarding custody, support, or visitation. A Forsyth County mother’s rights lawyer could help you understand how this dynamic may affect your family court case and press your claims to child custody. Contact an accomplished attorney today to discuss your rights as a mother.