What Rights Do Fathers Have in Florida?

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Fathers have the same rights as mothers in Florida. Under the law, neither fathers nor mothers have any presumptions for or against them when it comes to their children.

But judges are human, and humans have biases. Judges will sometimes rely on their prejudices rather than the evidence presented to them. As a result, you may receive an unfair outcome, even though Florida law establishes a policy against discrimination.

Here are a few of the rights you should expect as a father in Florida.

Legal Custody

“Legal custody” describes the right to have a voice in decisions affecting the child. Legal custody includes decisions about the child’s religion, activities, education, and medical care.

Florida law does not mandate joint legal custody. But in most cases, a father should be able to receive joint legal custody.

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Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Family Law Attorney

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The lawyer you choose for your case could have a huge impact on the outcome. Every lawyer has a unique set of experiences, knowledge, and strategies to call upon during a case. You will need to ask the right questions to find the right lawyer for you.

Here are some of the questions you should ask before hiring a family law attorney.

How Much Do You Charge?

Billing is one of the most common disputes that can arise between a lawyer and a client. Asking about fees before you hire your lawyer will help you avoid any misunderstandings about what you will pay for your case.

Most states do not allow family lawyers to charge a contingency fee for divorce cases. Instead, you will probably pay a flat fee or an hourly fee, depending on the case. 

For example, a family lawyer may charge a flat fee to file an uncontested divorce. But if your spouse contests child custody, child support, property division, or alimony, your lawyer will probably charge an hourly fee.

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How Does Divorce and Child Custody Work in Florida?

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If your marriage is about to end, it’s important to understand what will happen next. Life during and after divorce is often easier to manage when you have all of the facts at your fingertips. Here’s what you should know about divorce and child custody in Florida. 

Uncontested Vs. Contested Divorce

Depending on the level of animosity between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you may qualify for an uncontested or contested divorce. 

An uncontested or “simple” divorce moves along at a faster pace and wraps up relatively quickly. However, this type of divorce can only occur under very specific circumstances:

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A Guide to Child Support Enforcement in Florida

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You count on child support payments to afford groceries and provide for your children, but your ex-spouse hasn’t paid in months. What can you do?

First, it’s important to understand the steps that the Florida courts automatically take to enforce child support orders. Florida upholds very strict laws to hold noncustodial parents accountable for child support payments. If those measures aren’t enough, contact a trusted Florida child support attorney for more guidance.

Motion for Civil Contempt

If the parent of your child fails to pay child support in Florida,  you can file a “motion for civil contempt” to inform the court of the issue. This is relatively easy to do by yourself or with the help of an attorney. Be sure to provide the requested documents and information:

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Should I Get a Paternity Test?

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Raising a family is never easy, but parents face additional challenges if they were never married. Before issues of support and child-rearing can even be discussed, the father’s legal status, or paternity, must be established. You may consider getting a paternity test if you’re not married to the mother of your children. Here’s what you need to know before making that decision. 

How To Establish Paternity in Florida

In the state of Florida, legal paternity is automatic only in cases where the mother of the child is married at the time of the child’s birth. In all other cases, paternity must be established.  (more…)

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