Parental Rights Cases
While the law involving parental rights and responsibilities also apply to divorces that involve minor children, it is also the case that there are many parents who have never been married. Unmarried parents have all the same parental rights as married parents and have all the same legal remedies available to them as two parents who are undergoing a divorce.
You Have Rights
The Constitution may not be the first thing that you think of when discussing family court, but there is a large body of law laying out the constitutionally protected rights of parents to rear their children. This is important to bear in mind if you are a divorced parent or an unmarried parent. We encounter many parents on a regular basis who did not seek the help of an attorney for years and years because they did not understand that they had an actual enforceable right to a relationship with their child. It is all to common that one parent feels they are entitled to restrict the other parent's access to the minor child, and the other parent simply puts up with it.
In an ideal world, both parents could get along and each foster love affection between the child or children and each parent. Unfortunately, sometimes parents let their feelings get in the way and, well-intentions or not, the parties simply cannot get along or agree on what is best for the child. That is when the court comes in.
A family law attorney will advise you of your rights as a parent and advocate for your rights to be recognized and enforced. It is always better for the child if everyone can work together and stay out of court, but if that is not possible you do not have to resign yourself to watching your children grow up from afar either.
Best Interests of The Child
You may have rights, but the primary interest of the Court is the bests interests of the child, and your rights will be balanced with those in mind. Relative to the discussion above about your rights, it is true that the State has determined there is a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child to foster a relationship with both parents and for parents to share the responsibility of child rearing.
When awarding parental rights and responsibilities, the court shall apply and consider the best interests of the child. The Legislature had further directed the Judiciary to consider 19 different factors in weighing what is in the child's best interests. The aim of these factors, and what all parents need to be mindful of in a parental rights case, is to focus on a child-centric solution to disagreements between the parties. It is easy for parents (and sometimes the lawyers too) to lose focus on the children and instead become preoccupied with what the other side is doing to you or what you think is fair to you. It is the job of the court, however, not to do what is best for the parents but instead to do what is best for the child.
Call for Representation
Parental rights matters are very serious and potentially complex. Call the attorneys at Conley & Wirick, P.A. today for professional representation and zealous advocacy.