Call Us (Orlando): 321-246-7710
(Ft Lauderdale): 954-703-0005
In the State of Florida, a man becomes a legally recognized father in one of two ways; through marriage to the mother prior to the birth of the child or through a Paternity Order from the Court. In cases of divorce, the husband is presumed to be the father of the children of the marriage. This presumption is rebuttable, which means that the assumption of a husband’s fatherhood can be overcome by evidence that the husband is not the father and if it is in the best interest of the child.
Florida Law does not discriminate between the rights of legally recognized fathers and mothers. Florida law seeks to promote happy and healthy children by giving children meaningful contact and time with both parents.
Rights Obtained After an Order of Paternity:
Once the biological father of a child has been determined through paternity testing, he obtains certain legal rights. Father’s rights in Florida are fully protected under state law. In most cases, if you are declared the legal father of a child, you have the right to have your name added to the child’s Birth Certificate.
Shared parental responsibility is the norm and sole parental responsibility is reserved for only those cases where the court must protect the children.
The concept of shared parental responsibility provides a framework for effective co-parenting. It is the public policy of the State of Florida to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing. Shared parental responsibility is a court ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities and in which both parents confer with each other, so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the children will be determined jointly. The concept of shared parental responsibility is intended to protect the children's right to an ongoing relationship with both parents. If shared parenting is awarded, you and your child’s mother will share in the responsibility of making all minor and major decisions affecting your child’s welfare such as those involving education, health care, religion, illnesses, vacations, and more. You have the right to know what activities your child is involved in and you have the right to partake in those activities. You have the right to your child’s school, medical, dental, and other records as well as to actively consult with your child’s teachers and doctors.
Custody and Visitation:
The legal father of a child is given the same consideration as the mother when the court determines the parenting plan and visitation of the child. Each case is determined on an individual basis and the court considers many factors—such as the father’s relationship with the child, his experience in child rearing, his work schedule, and much more—before deciding visitation rights. There are occasions when fathers do not live near the child. The father may live out of state or overseas. There are many ways to maintain close and continuing contact between the father and the child even when they live thousands of miles apart. If you were never married to the child’s mother, you have the same legal rights as a married father once your paternity is established and you are declared the legal father.
In addition to custody and visitation, a father’s rights may include contact rights. These contact rights include physical visits with the child as well as telephone and internet contact.
Because paternity and other family law issues involving chidren can be extremely emotional and complex, the assistance of a qualified Florida Family Law Attorney is necessary to best protect your legal rights. In many circumstances, a father may not be aware of the extent of his rights. An experienced Florida attorney who is familiar with father’s rights, can help explain the proceedings, provide legal advice, prepare your case for trial, and fully protect your legal options.
Mary Zogg has extensive experience in assisting Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Longwood, Central Florida and Fort Lauderdale residents who require professional Father's Rights, Divorce, and Family Law Attorney legal services.
FAMILY LAW ADVOCATE
Mary Zogg , Attorney at Law
Call Us (Orlando): 321-246-7710
Ft Lauderdale: 954-703-0005