Orange County Mothers Rights Lawyers
Mothers Rights in Orange County
Every family faces unique challenges, even in the Golden State. When a separation takes place between unmarried parents in California, they may face some challenges. Unwed fathers cannot automatically be presumed to be the biological parents of their children, in spite of the fact that they may be named on the birth certificate. This makes it difficult, for example, for a mother to collect child support from the father.
Establishing A Child’s Parentage to Uphold a Mothers Rights
The word “parentage” (also known as “maternity”, for mothers) refers to the legal recognition of a woman as a child’s biological mother. When a child is born to a married couple, the law presumes that the husband is the biological father and the wife is the biological mother. If that couple should subsequently dissolve the marriage, there usually is no need to establish parentage.
On the other hand, for unmarried parents, no such presumption exists by law. Parentage can only be established if a person voluntarily signs a declaration saying he or she is a biological parent. The other way is if the court makes the determination as part of a parentage case.
As soon as parentage is established under California law, the parents assume the full rights and responsibilities with regards to their children. What this means is that a parent may seek custody or visitation. It also means that he or she is responsible for financially supporting his or her child. In the absence of a parentage declaration, unmarried parents face some difficulties.
Child Support: The Case for Unmarried Mothers Rights in Orange County
A situation frequently faced by unmarried mothers is caring for a child without any help from the father. At times, the mother may get voluntary financial support for a time, only for the father to suddenly make changes or stop supporting the child altogether. Whether the father was taking financial responsibility at some point or has never done so, there is no way to make a father pay child support without a court order.
Mothers have the right to seek financial support from the government. If they do so, the government can and will go after welfare reimbursement from the father by filing a lawsuit. To successfully get reimbursed, the government needs to first establish the father’s paternity.
The court must still make a parentage determination even in non-welfare cases before it can order child support and enforce financial obligations.
An enforceable child support order can do much for a mother and her child or children. Here are some advantages of having an order in place from the court:
- The parent owing support cannot evade financial responsibility by filing for bankruptcy.
- Under the law, child support is given priority. That means if the paying parent has other financial obligations, child support goes to the head of the payment line.
- Child support can be easily enforced using a wage assignment. If necessary, child support can be automatically deducted from the parent’s paycheck.
- An enforceable child support order contains penalties for late payments and nonpayment.