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” 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.
A judge might deprive a father of legal custody when the father’s involvement in the child’s life might harm the child. For example, if the father is incarcerated, addicted to drugs or alcohol, abused the child, or has abandoned the family, the mother might receive full legal custody. Otherwise, fathers have an equal right to be involved in their child’s upbringing.
In the past, family law used terms like “physical custody” and “visitation.” Mothers usually received “physical custody” of the children, while fathers usually received “visitation.” This made fathers’ rights seem to be less than mothers’ rights, even if the children lived with each parent for an equal time.
Now, both parents receive “parenting time.” And even though Florida does not require equal parenting time, studies show that Florida’s judges are some of the best in the country at giving fathers fair parenting arrangements.
Fighting for Fathers’ Rights
Even though Florida’s courts are some of the best in the country for fathers, you will still need to fight for your rights. If the child’s mother contests a parenting plan, a judge will need to resolve the dispute. Having someone to advocate for you in court will help you to protect your rights as a father.
Contact Caveda Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your rights as a father in your paternity, child custody, or divorce case.