Although there should be no difference between the rights of divorcing fathers and mothers, there does seem to be some discrepancies in practice. In fact, according to one source, women are awarded primary legal custody in 90 percent of divorces. Then, the father pays child support and gets visitation rights.
However, in Florida, the Courts will try to award shared custody between the two parents whenever possible. Shared custody allows the child to live in each household part-time. Both parents will also have a say in major decision-making for the child. This arrangement is referred to as shared parental responsibility in Florida. Nonetheless, the child often ends up in one household more often than the other, generally so that he or she can keep school-life consistent.
Divorcing Fathers and Paternity
When the couple is married and they have a child, the father’s name is automatically set out on the birth certificate. If, however, the couple is not married when the child is born, either because they have never been married or because the child was born after the divorce, the father must take additional steps to assert paternity.
The father must file forms with the Florida Putative Father Registry to state that he is the father of that particular child. He can also begin a paternity action in court. This type of legal claim will require a DNA test to prove that he is the father. Parents can also agree that the man is the father and fill out forms appropriately to avoid going to court on the issue. Failing to exercise your rights can mean that you will lose them.
Developing a Time-Sharing Plan that Involves the Father
In the vast majority of cases, it is beneficial for a child to have a father-figure involved in their life. Time-sharing should include both parents so that the child knows that he or she is loved and supported by both parents. Psychologists believe that this type of arrangRights of Divorcing Fathers in Florida
ement is best for the child’s healthy development. Parents and the child should also feel that the parent is an active member of the child’s life.
Every parenting plan is unique, and parents should work together to develop a plan that will work for their individual situation. However, when parents do not cooperate with one another, the Court can step in and order visitation time as appropriate.
Dividing Property in Divorce
Property division in divorce for men should be the same for women because Florida law presumes that both spouses in the marriage contributed equally. This presumption applies even when that is not the case. Marital property division is based on equity, which means that the assets may not necessarily be equal, but the Court attempts to make it as fair as possible.
Men overwhelmingly end up paying alimony or spousal support to their former wife. In fact, only three percent of recipients of spousal support are men. However, to make this decision, the Court should consider a variety of factors to determine if alimony is appropriate, including any income disparities, property division, and who the child will be living with regularly.
Both spouses should be treated equally in family law issues. Our team can help you assert your rights. Contact us today to set up an appointment.