Currently, Florida law recognizes the equal rights and responsibilities of mothers and fathers. Nonetheless, men continue to face an uphill battle in asserting their parental rights. If you wish to preserve the bonds with your children after a separation or divorce, or with a child you have had with a woman with whom you are no longer in a relationship, you need an experienced family law attorney on your side.
Orlando Family Team routinely represents fathers throughout Central Florida in custody and paternity proceedings. As parents, our husband and wife team know that time spent with our children is precious. Well-versed in the applicable state laws on child custody, parenting time, and child support, we will make certain that you are not denied the opportunity to play an active role in your child’s life. When you work with us, we will take the time to explain your rights, consider all your options, and help you navigate the legal system.
The Rights and Responsibilities of Fathers
Because a father has a right to be involved in his child’s life on a regular and meaningful basis, Florida law recognizes a father’s rights regarding custody, time-sharing, and parental responsibilities. As such, divorcing parents have the opportunity to agree on a parenting plan that specifies custody and visitation rights. If the parents cannot agree, the court will step in to make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child. While the law is designed to treat fathers equally, the courts continue to favor mothers in custody cases involving minor children because mothers tend to be the primary caregivers.
Regardless of your situation, the father’s rights attorneys at Orlando Family Team will make sure you have meaningful access to your child. We will also protect your right to make decisions about your child’s upbringing (previously referred to a “legal custody”), particularly concerning matters such as the child’s health, education, and religion. While we prefer to reach negotiated resolutions to child custody and time-sharing issues, we are fully prepared to assert your father’s rights in court.
If you have a child with a woman you are not married to, establishing your father’s rights can be challenging. Under Florida law, when an unmarried woman gives birth to a child, the presumed father’s name cannot be added to the birth certificate without a signed affidavit from both parents. If you wish to assert your parental rights, we can assist with initiating a paternity proceeding.
In this regard, there are two options. The first is to register with the Florida Putative Father Registry, which gives you the right to be notified about any adoption proceedings — Florida law requires the biological father’s consent in stepparent adoptions. If you fail to take this step, you may forfeit your parental rights, including rights to visitation and communication with your child. Moreover, to assert your full rights to custody and time-sharing, it may also be necessary to file a paternity lawsuit. In this situation, the court will order a DNA test, the results of which will be used to establish a legal relationship between you and the child. While this will give you the legal authority to take an active role in your child’s upbringing, it will also obligate you to financially support the child.
Contact Our Orlando Father’s Rights Attorney
Whether you are a father who is considering separation or divorce or an unmarried man looking to establish paternity, Orlando Family Team can help. When you become our client, we will take the time to understand your circumstances and work to protect your parental rights. At the same time, you must be willing to fight for your rights and stay involved in your child’s life. If you want to have the maximum possible time with your child, you must be able to demonstrate that you will put your child’s welfare ahead of your own needs.
Our husband and wife team has the skills, experience, and resources to represent you inside and outside of the courtroom. While it is often best to resolve custody and time-sharing issues through negotiations, our trial attorneys are fully prepared to litigate your case. Regardless of the forum — alternative dispute resolution or litigation — we have a proven history of helping our clients obtain their preferred custody arrangements.
By working with Orlando Family Team, you will have confidence, knowing that we will fight tirelessly to protect your father’s rights. Above all, we will provide you with the first-rate legal representation you need and the personal attention you deserve. Please contact our office to speak with our father’s rights attorneys today.