Being a mother is rewarding and one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a woman. When you raise your child in a family where both the father and the mother care about their child in a loving relationship, it is the best thing for the parents and the child. However, life is tough and families get split. Often times it is the mom that is left with the child. Being a single mom is difficult enough just in terms of psychological challenges but it also has legal aspects. In this article, we will go through 5 legal issues single moms might face.
Child custody. Custody can mean both physical and legal custody. When we are talking about physical custody, we are talking about where the child will live, where they will go to school, etc. Sometimes courts grant joint physical custody. In terms of legal custody, the issue is who will make decisions for the child. This may relate to medical care or religious instructions.
Co-parenting. Yes, to have both a mother and a father is in the best interests of the child. But that’s only when the parents are in a loving relationship. It’s quite tough to raise a child with someone you broke with and who you don’t love anymore. The best option is to come up with some co-parenting plan so that you can somehow co-exist.
Biological father. Being a single mom is difficult enough but it is harder when you cannot establish who the biological father is. You can gain child custody, child support, inheritance, medical history access only when the biological father of the child is legally recognized.
Housing discrimination. It may be surprising that some landlords may deny housing only because you are a single mom. Make sure to know that this is legally prohibited under the Fair Housing Act. No landlord has the right to deny you housing based on familial composition.
Child resentment. Being a single mother is twice as much job. Especially teenagers may act out and not take your words seriously. You may be tempted to kick them out of your house but you can do that only if they are legally emancipated. If you kick out your child that is not legally emancipated, this may be considered child abandonment and can lead to criminal charges.
If you are a single mom, we wish you twice as much strength because it takes twice as many efforts, twice as much patience and love than being a mom in a two-parent family. But remember, your efforts will also be rewarded twice as much because life is a boomerang. You will understand that when you look into the eyes of your grown-up child that will not need your heroism any more.