Many fathers may be concerned about court bias toward the mother receiving full custody of the children in a divorce case. While there has historically been bias toward the mother, times are changing. Studies are showing more and more that having both parents in a child's life is beneficial, and the court's main concern in custody decisions is the well-being of the child. This means it is becoming increasingly common for fathers to win fair custody rights.
Nowadays, it is common for fathers to have equal custody of their children. In fact, it's even possible for a father to win sole custody of a child in some cases. If you are a father going through a divorce, do not despair that you will lose custody of your children. Here is what you should know about working for partial or sole custody.
You must establish paternity
Before you can file for custody of your child, you must legally be the child's father. For married men, this is less of an issue because husbands are automatically legally considered the father when their wife has a child. However, for unmarried men whose partners have a child, all custody automatically goes to the mother. If you and your ex-spouse had a child before marriage and you never established paternity, you must do so before you are able to file for custody rights.
Florida paternity laws state that you can establish paternity up until your child is 22 years old.
You can file for 100% time sharing with your children
It is another common misconception that mothers will automatically win when they file for 100% time sharing. You have the same right to file for 100% time sharing, and the court's decision on the matter will depend on the child's best interests. Usually, courts start at a 50/50 time split and time rights will be adjusted based on reasons that a different time split would be beneficial to the child.
Parenting plans can be modified later
When a parenting plan is decided in a divorce case, you do not have to feel trapped into it. Based on life circumstances, parenting plans can be modified later. If a new or unexpected circumstance arises in your life, such as a new job or relocation, you can petition for the parenting plan to be modified to fit these changes.
Do not go through divorce alone. A skilled attorney who specializes in fathers' rights can work through the process with you to meet your individual needs and ensure that you receive fair custody of your children.