Many people who find themselves about to go through a divorce have one main concern – their children. While they may also worry about finances and property, their children come first. They worry about how a court might award custody of their child or children. If you are considering divorce, there are a few things you should know about your rights as a parent before you start the process. To give you an idea of what might happen, here’s a guide to a father’s rights in Florida.
What are a father’s rights in Florida?
In Florida, there is no preset way to determine who gets custody of a child in a divorce. In fact, the arrangement varies on a case-by-case basis. Although the court prefers to award a joint custody agreement, this isn’t always the case. If you and your partner can’t come up with an agreement, it’s up to a judge to decide who gets custody. They base their decision on the best interest of the child or children. And to determine that, they look at a few key factors.
Generally, this is good news for fathers. As long as you can prove that you are the child’s best interest, you could get sole Child custody. However, this is not a common occurrence. What is more common is a joint custody agreement where the child spends some time with you and some with the mother.
Choosing whatever is in the best interest of the child isn’t easy. Here are a few things that a judge considers:
- The ability of both parents to work together and honor a court-appointed schedule This includes the willingness to change the schedule when it’s necessary.
- The amount of time that a child has spent in a certain lifestyle, and how a change might affect the child. For example, if a child spent all his time with his mother before a divorce, a judge may think it’s best to continue that arrangement.
- A parent’s ability to put the child’s needs before his own
- The geography of the situation. For example, does the child need to stay with his mother or father to stay in the same school district? How much time does it take to travel from one parent to another. While this might not be a deciding factor, it can affect the time sharing plan.
- The morals of each parent, as well as their mental and physical health.
- The child’s home and community
- If the child is old enough, the child’s preference
- A parent’s knowledge of the child’s day-to-day activities. This includes preferences, typical activities, and more.
- The ability to provide a steady routine
- Evidence of neglect, abandonment, or child abuse. If there are any pending charges or any prior ones, this could count strongly against you.
- Evidence that one parent lied to the court about pending charges
These are only some of the factors that a judge considers. There is a long list of factors that can affect your custody agreement. No single factor determines a child’s placement. Instead, a judge evaluates everything together.
Other Things to Consider
Although every custody case is different, one thing remains the same. You need the help of a lawyer to get results. Proving that you are in the best interest of your child is not easy to do. Even if joint custody is your goal, you need help reaching that goal. It takes a lawyer with experience in family law to get you the outcome you want.
Of course, custody may not be your goal. And if that’s the case, you should also be aware of your right to visitation. In Florida, a father has certain rights to see his child. For one, he has the right to have regular contact with his child in-person or on the phone. While you and your partner may be able to create a visitation schedule, a judge can also do it. By law, the mother has to stick to that visitation schedule.
There are situations in which a judge may take away your visitation rights. This could occur if you fail to put your child’s needs before your own. It could also happen if you can’t provide a safe environment for your child, or a set routine. If you’re having a difficult time getting the visitation rights that you want, you may need a lawyer.
Get The Help That You Need
Because there are not set rules in custody cases, you need a lawyer’s expertise. A father’s rights in Florida vary, and one of the most important factors is how a lawyer handles your case. When you have good representation, you may be able to prove to a court that you are the best option for your child. You can also fight for any other rights that you believe you deserve.
If you understand a father’s rights in Florida and still want to go through with your divorce, you should seek Divorce Lawyer. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can finish your divorce.