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How Much Does a Mother’s Rights Lawyer Cost?

9 min read
Unbundled Legal Help

by Unbundled Legal Help

If you’re in the midst of a mother’s rights case, consider hiring an attorney to help protect your rights. 

Unfortunately, mother’s rights attorneys come at a high price. These attorneys typically charge a retainer fee and subsequently an hourly fee, depending on how many hours your case requires. 

An unbundled lawyer can provide the legal guidance you need at a reasonable cost, making legal assistance attainable for you. We can connect you today to an unbundled mother’s rights lawyer in your area.

What Rights Do Mothers Have?

Mothers have legal rights in the family courts and accordingly also have special responsibilities regarding their children: 

  • Giving their child love, support, and guidance
  • Providing a safe home for their child
  • Protecting and disciplining
  • Making important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing

It is important to understand the rights fit mothers are afforded under the law. 

Child Custody 

If it is in the best interests of the child, a mother is entitled to custody of her child. However, custody looks different in every situation. Depending on the circumstances, a court can grant a mother some forms of custody but not others. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with the different types of child custody. 

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where the child physically resides. A parent with physical custody, also referred to as a custodial parent, takes care of their child daily. In many cases, one parent is given physical custody while the other parent, the non-custodial parent, is granted visitation rights. 

In the best-case scenario, a judge can grant both parents physical custody, meaning the child spends equal, or almost equal, time in each parent’s home.

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make important life decisions for their child. These decisions involve the child’s health and upbringing, including what doctor the child sees, what school they attend, and what religion they practice. 

The court may grant one parent legal custody, but it is more common for both parents to share the responsibility equally. Sharing legal custody means communicating with your child’s father to make the best decisions for your child.

Sole Custody

Sole custody gives one parent full custody of their child. With sole custody, one parent has physical and legal custody of the child while the other parent, the non-custodial parent, is left with no rights. If the court finds it proper, the non-custodial parent may get visitation rights.

Sole custody is rare, as family courts like to keep both parents in a child’s life. However, some situations deem sole custody necessary, for instance with an unfit parent. 

Joint Custody

Judges will frequently grant joint custody if the situation allows for it.

In most cases, a judge will grant both parents joint physical and legal custody. If both parents can take on the responsibility amicably, this is an ideal situation for a child. Joint physical and legal custody means the child will spend time at each parent’s home, based on a schedule. Both mom and dad work together to make the important decisions regarding the child.

Other scenarios may warrant a judge granting joint physical custody but not legal custody, or joint legal custody but not physical custody. The family court will always do what is best for the child.

Child Visitation

When two people with kids separate or divorce, it is customary, and in the child’s best interest, to have a relationship with both parents. When parents divorce, one parent typically maintains primary physical custody. But even if a parent does not have physical custody of their child, the court may find it appropriate to grant the non-custodial parent visitation rights. 

Having visitation rights allows the non-custodial parent to spend quality time with their child during the most important years. 

Child Support

Child support helps financially provide for a child’s care, maintenance, and education. 

The court typically rules on child support at the same time as it handles divorce and custody issues. In most states, the child support amount is based on guidelines established by the state. These guidelines consider what both parents earn, along with how time is divided between parents under their custody arrangement.

Paternity Testing

Paternity Testing is done, and in some cases necessary, when the child’s paternity is called into question. During a paternity test, DNA is taken from the child and the supposed father to compare genetic traits, helping determine whether they share DNA.

Paternity tests are considered to be 99% accurate, as well as legally conclusive, so they are accepted by the family court.

Does a Mother Have More Rights than a Father?

Many believe that mothers have more rights than fathers, or at least a preference over a child’s father. This often stems from the thought that mothers are the primary caretakers, nurturing and protecting their children better than fathers.

In truth, family and custody laws have no gender preference. A family court judge must always consider what is best for the child, guiding them when making tough decisions regarding custody, visitation, and child support.

Under the law, mothers do not have more rights than fathers, but it does not mean you should not fight for your rights. 

Does an Unmarried, Single Mother Have All the Same Rights?

Under most jurisdictions, the mother is the natural guardian of a child that is born out of wedlock. Unwed mothers will automatically have physical and legal custody of the child.

Because mothers have custody of their children, they are entitled to receive child support from the father in most cases. To receive child support from the child’s father, mothers must file a paternity action to have the father named as the legally recognized father.  

When there is a paternity case, the court may help decide on an appropriate parenting plan, timesharing arrangement, and child support payments.  

Either parent can file for paternity, and either parent can seek primary timesharing with the child.

What Rights Does a Birth Mother Facing Adoption Have?

Even if you are considering putting your child up for adoption, you still have rights as a mother throughout the process. These are some of those rights:

  • The right to choose adoptive parents: You will have the opportunity to select your child’s adoptive parents, allowing you to make the best possible decision for your child’s life and future.
  • The right to choose your post-adoption relationship: Every post-adoption relationship is different, depending on what birth mothers and adoptive parents prefer and feel comfortable with. While you may choose to completely cut all ties with your child and their new parents, you can also choose to keep an open communication, or any other relationship dynamic you’d like.
  • The right to choose when to sign the adoption paperwork: No one should pressure you to sign adoption paperwork. You’re making a major life decision, and some mothers require more time than others. If you’ve given birth and have yet to sign the paperwork, many situations allow mothers a few days after birth to recover mentally and physically before signing. 
  • The right to legal counsel: While you are not required to have legal counsel, it is often helpful to have a lawyer to better understand the adoption process and your rights. 
  • The right to change your mind: Deciding to give your child up for adoption is not a decision that’s taken lightly. You may, at some point, decide this is not the best route for you and your child. Therefore, you can change your mind before committing to adoption.

If you’re considering putting your child up for adoption, discuss your case with a mother’s rights attorney to better understand your rights.

Can the Court Take Away a Mother’s Rights?

Yes. In the most unfortunate cases, a judge may decide it is in the best interest of the child to strip the mother of her rights. 

In most cases where a mother’s rights are taken away, it is because she has been deemed unfit. Reasons vary but may include drug use, child abuse, or abandonment. 

Taking a mother’s rights away altogether is a rare occurrence, because family court judges recognize the significance a mother plays in a child’s life. While it is not the best scenario, sometimes it is necessary. 

Can a Mother’s Rights Lawyer Help Protect My Rights?

Yes. A mother’s rights lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights as a mother. 

If you’re currently facing any issues regarding your rights, a mother’s rights lawyer will do everything necessary to help you resolve these issues. They may perform these functions:

  • Reviewing the details of your situation
  • Gathering evidence
  • Drafting and filing court documents
  • Building a strong case and legal strategy
  • Representing you in legal proceedings

Being a mother is a tough, but rewarding job. Let a mother’s rights lawyer protect your rights.

How Much Does a Mother’s Rights Lawyer Cost?

While hiring a mother’s rights lawyer is beneficial, it can also mean high legal costs.

A mother’s rights lawyer will typically charge a retainer fee to begin. Then, as needed, they will charge hourly. There is no “average” amount a mother’s rights lawyer will cost, as it all depends on the complexity of your case and the work required. However, in most cases, you can expect to spend no less than $2,000.

An Unbundled Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights and Cut Costs

An unbundled lawyer may be your best shot at getting reasonably priced, reliable legal guidance.

An unbundled lawyer is a lawyer like any other but offers their services differently. When you hire an unbundled lawyer, you’re willing to take on most of the work on your case, only relying on your attorney for the most critical parts of your case. 

If you’re looking to keep legal costs low, an unbundled lawyer may be the answer. Fees for services start at $500-$1,500.

Unbundled Legal Help can connect you with a qualified mother’s rights attorney in your area. We’ll refer a local lawyer from our network of attorneys that suits your needs.

If you’re facing a mother’s rights issue, you’re not alone in your battle. Contact us today to get started.

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