Fathers’ custody lawyers in Florida work to prepare their clients for the process, including dispelling outdated thinking about custody outcomes. When it becomes time for a couple to separate, the most serious concern is the happiness and well-being of any minor children involved. In Florida, family courts will always place the child’s welfare first in cases of both child time-sharing and child support.
In the past, family courts assumed that children fared best when living with their mothers, as females naturally were the more compassionate and nurturing of the two spouses. However, this kind of essentialist thinking is no longer relevant, and now the courts see both parents as co-equal partners in marriage and parenthood.
Before entering into the separation process, it’s a great idea for fathers to brush up on some facts about fathers’ custody rights in Florida. Here is some information that will prepare you for the road ahead. Please note: the information below is for married fathers who are divorcing or planning to divorce their spouses.
- In Florida, courts no longer use the term “custody.” The correct term is “time-sharing,” and the court will create a time-sharing schedule for both parents that is in the child’s best interest.
- There is no longer any consideration of a “primary” or “secondary” residential parent, but courts can label one parent a parent with a majority or minority timeshare.
- While Florida law does not require litigants to have attorneys, almost all legal scholars will agree that litigants should have representation in their cases, particularly fathers. The law no longer recognizes gender as a factor in granting custody. However, old prejudices die hard, and having a qualified lawyer by your side is crucial to identify where old biases enter the proceedings and resist them to protect your rights.
When developing a time-sharing plan that is in the child’s best interest, these are the factors the judge will consider:
- Each partner’s ability to provide stability and consistency for the child.
- Each partner’s capacity to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
- Each partner’s showing of placing the child’s needs above their own
- The child’s home and school records and the parents’ knowledge and involvement.
How an Attorney Can Protect the Rights of a Dad in Visitation and Custody
A custody attorney who understands the current legal rights of fathers in custody cases will be able to protect the rights of fathers. They will try to reach an amicable mediation with your spouse’s attorney, thereby avoiding most court time and saving both sides costly fees. If that is not possible, and they cannot agree, they will represent you in court before a judge.
A good custody attorney can also represent you for years after the divorce if the time-sharing plan needs adjusting.
Having a strong attorney by your side will help you secure the visitation rights you deserve and enjoy the quality time you have earned with your children.
Contact Us Today
At WhitbeckBennett, we are here to guide you if you are considering a divorce and have questions about the custody of your child. Call 800-516-3964 or contact us here to speak with our experienced and compassionate team of attorneys today.