Orlando Fathers’ Rights Attorney
There may have been a time when courts gave deference to mothers and awarded them custody of the children in most divorce cases. Mothers got custody, and fathers got to pay child support, sometimes with limited or no visitation. This is no longer the case. Today Florida courts recognize the equal rights of both parents to participate in their children’s upbringing; in fact, the express public policy of the state is to encourage frequent, meaningful contact between each parent and the children. Courts also recognize the responsibility of both parents to contribute to the financial support of their children. Decisions regarding both child custody and child support are made after considering a long list of statutory factors which apply equally to mother and father. As a married father faced with or contemplating divorce, you don’t have to worry that you’ll lose your kids just because you’re the dad. The DeVoe Law Firm can help you understand your rights in a Florida divorce or child custody dispute and can provide outstanding representation to protect those rights and help you achieve a result that meets your needs and the best interests of your kids.
Unwed Fathers Need to Establish their Paternity for Custody and Timesharing
When a child is born to unmarried parents, the child’s biological father does not have the legal status of fatherhood necessary to assert rights to parenting and timesharing under Florida law. Also, an unwed father cannot be forced to pay child support without having paternity established first. Fortunately, there are many ways to establish paternity in Florida, including signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity at the hospital after the child’s birth, or submitting the form at a later time and updating the child’s birth record with the Office of Vital Statistics. In addition to formalizing a court order for child custody and child support, establishing paternity can help a child in numerous ways, such as:
- Gaining rights to inherit from the father
- Access to health insurance through the father’s employment
- Receipt of benefits through the father’s status as a veteran or through other government programs
- Sharing important medical history information
- Providing the child with a sense of legitimacy, identity and security
If both parents won’t sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, or if paternity is questioned by either party or a third party, court action may be necessary to establish paternity and enforce the father’s rights regarding his children. Orlando family law attorney Michael P. DeVoe is a skilled and experienced trial lawyer who has achieved numerous successes in court over more than 20 years in legal practice. The DeVoe Law Firm can assist you in establishing paternity and gaining custody rights for parenting and timesharing.
Help with Fathers’ Rights in Orlando Divorce, Child Custody & Paternity
For help with paternity, child support, timesharing or other issues related to a fathers’ rights regarding divorce or child custody, contact the DeVoe Law Firm at 407-284-1620 for a free consultation with a skilled and experienced Orlando family law attorney.