Father’s Rights in Florida
At New Horizons Law, P.A. we represent both men and women. We do not discriminate or prefer to work with one sex over the other. Contrary to popular belief men have just as much rights in the courtroom as women do. In a divorce case there is no question the Husband and Wife are on equal footing. In a Paternity case, when the parties are not married, Father’s do not start on equal footing, but can move there very quickly.
Generally when it comes to time-sharing, we find the limitation are from an individuals works schedule, or geographic location. Otherwise, the Court is inclined to give the Father as much time with the children as possible.
For Father’s of Children Born Out of Wedlock
A father of children born out of wedlock initially has no rights – “The mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise.” This is straight from Florida Statute 744.301.
BUT DON’T FEAR. WE CAN HELP YOU. Once you have initiated a case, you can now demand your rights. You can now be put on equal footing with the children’s mother. See more on my Paternity for Men page.
For Father’s of Children Born During the Marriage
Fathers of children born during the marriage have equal protection under the family laws of Florida when it comes to decision making and time-sharing with their children from the very beginning. However, we believe that social trends cause men to believe they are not treated equally in a court of law. Men believe they do not have the right to see their children as much as the children’s mother, and tend to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Historically men have been pigeonholed to accept a backseat when it comes to child rearing. However, Florida recognizes that both parents are vital to the upbringing of children. Florida Statute 61.13 states: “It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of child rearing. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.”
There was a time that men were not considered as caretakers or custodians of their children. But there was also a time when women were not permitted to vote. During this time when women automatically received custody was when we, as a society, believed in the Tender Years Doctrine. However, the Tender Years Doctrine, like the prohibition on a women’s right to vote, has been abolished in Florida.
When you boil it down, it really is the child’s right.
Men are no longer second class citizens when it comes to decision making or time-sharing with their children. Men should not feel as though they are an outsider in the family, and should maintain a vital role in their child’s life, throughout all the child’s developmental stages. This is not for the man’s benefit, but for the child’s benefit. Notice how that statute states “…that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents…” it does not say that each parent has frequent and continuing contact with each child.
Trust an Experienced Divorce and Family Law Attorney to handle your Divorce, Paternity or other Family Law Issues.
Florida Law on Parental Responsibility and Time-Sharing is not easy and has difficult rules and procedures. Do not do it alone. We always offer a free consultation. There is no better way than sitting down face-to-face with a Trusted, Knowledgeable and Experienced Family Law Attorney to learn what your rights are and to get what you deserve. We are sure you know someone, a friend, or family member that has a horror story regarding their own experience. At New Horizons Law,P.A. we do not practice criminal law or elder law, or many other types of law. We are Florida Divorce and Family Law attorneys that understands the laws intimately, because we handle family law matters on a regular basis. We will always listen compassionately and attentively to your needs and concerns, and provide you with the right family law advice for your particular case.