In Texas, a mother is automatically considered a legal parent of any dependent children.  However, this does not mean that the mother is automatically granted custody of those children.  If you are a mother who feels that her rights and relationship with her children are at risk, you should speak with a family attorney as soon as possible. A Houston mothers’ rights lawyer can help with negotiations or represent you in court.

What are the Rights of the Mother?

In terms of custody, the custodial rights of a parent are outlined by a parenting plan or court order. If the mother is the custodial parent, she may win the right to financial child support, based on an amount determined by the court. It is important to note however, that the father’s paternity of the child must be established before a mother is able to seek child support from him.

If a mother is not the custodial parent, she may expect a custody plan that includes visitation. If a mother has conservatorship, she has the right to participate in decisions on how her child is raised. Some of these decisions include the child’s education, extracurricular activities, or religious upbringing.

Regardless of which parent has custody, a mother should feel assured that her child is safe and well cared for when they are with the other parent. If a mother is concerned for her child’s safety, she has the legal right to take action against the child’s other parent. A Houston attorney could help a mother protect her rights and the wellbeing of her child regardless of depending on the custody arrangement.

Terminating a Father’s Parental Rights

Mothers raising their children alone can petition the court for the termination of the father’s parental rights.  Once the judge determines that ceasing the father’s parental rights are in the best interest of the child, he can order his rights terminated.

Typically, absentee fathers who have not taken part in the life of their child physically or financially for six months or more may have their parental rights terminated.  Additional reasons that parental rights might be involuntarily terminated are abandonment, violence, and abuse. Mothers who are concerned about the wellbeing of their child should speak with a Houston attorney about the termination of parental rights.

What Are a Mother’s Rights in Situations Involving Domestic Abuse?

If a father has been convicted of a domestic abuse related charge, a judge will take this into consideration when hearing a custody case. However, many times, a history of domestic abuse may exist with no charges or involvement from law enforcement.

While there are many reasons this may be the case, often a mother may fear retribution toward them or their children and choose not to file or press charges against an abusive spouse. However, in instances related to child custody, it is important to present information about an abusive father, whether the abuse is directed at the child or not.

Since the children’s best interest is the focus of who has or shares custody, the courts will consider instances or histories of abuse even if previous charges or injunctions were not filed. In some cases, a court may award a mother sole custodial rights if the father poses a threat to mother or children. For assistance in navigating challenging situations like domestic abuse, a mother should consult a lawyer in Houston to protect her right to safety.

Contact a Houston Mothers’ Rights Attorney

What sets Angela Faye Brown & Associates apart from other family law practices is that the welfare of your child is our highest priority. Divorce and custody disputes can be traumatic and emotional. We want to protect the children from this complex legal process as much as possible. If you are a mother who is dealing with a custody agreement, domestic abuse, child support order, or any other family law proceedings, let us help. Our Houston mothers’ rights lawyers are here to help. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.