Protecting the Rights of Fathers in Florida
As a father, you have a right to parent your children. However, unlike mothers, fathers often have to take specific steps to assert those rights in situations like divorce or breakup of an unmarried relationship.
At the Sosa Law Office, P.A. , in Brandon, our lawyers help fathers assert and protect their child custody and visitation rights. We believe that the breakup of a marriage or unmarried relationship should not be used as an excuse to deprive a father of his relationship with his children.
Protecting the Rights of Married Fathers Who Divorce
Florida law regarding custody of children c hanged significantly in 2008. The new statute provides for equal time-sharing between mothers and fathers and eliminated terms like "primary" or "secondary" in time-sharing language.
While there is no such thing as a primary or secondary parent now, one parent can still be awarded majority time sharing if that parent can show that equal time-sharing is not in best interests of the child. While the text of the law has changed dramatically, men still have to fight vigorously if they want to have equal-time sharing of children as some of the old prejudices still remain.
In addition to parenting time, our lawyers represent fathers in parental alienation cases.
Protecting the Rights of Unmarried Fathers
Unmarried fathers need to assert their rights early on. There are two things a father needs to do to do right away if he has a child with a woman to whom he is not married: (1) Have your name listed on the child's birth certificate or sign an equivalent declaration of paternity, (2) Register with Florida Putative Father's Registry, (3) Obtain with the written permission of the mother a valid DNA test to establish paternity, and (4) file a court action seeking to establish paternity (even if you are on good terms with the mother of the child.
While having your name on the child's birth certificate creates a legal presumption that you are the father, it is only a presumption. Without establishing paternity and securing a court-ordered parenting plan, the father can and likely will face hardship in obtaining or enforcing his rights as a father should the formerly pleasant relationship turn sour.
Contact Our Brandon Fathers' Rights Attorneys for a Free Initial Consultation
For more information about fathers' rights or to schedule a free consultation, call 813-413-4452. Our Brandon law office is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. We offer evening and weekend appointments upon request and accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
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