This is the next post in my series on the rights of Melbourne, Florida fathers. My last article discussed misunderstandings on the issue of “fathers’ rights.” It is important to understand that our state, like many others, views the rights and obligations of each parent to be equal. This means that the Court will show no preference, on the basis of gender, in child custody proceedings. Instead, the Court will only be concerned with the best interests of the child. In order to better understand how the Court may view your particular situation, it is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. In this article I will discuss why it is best for dads to assert their rights sooner, rather than later. Call my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Florida dads should obtain a custody order even if they are on good terms with the child’s mother
It is common for unmarried parents to share custody and conduct themselves in a civil manner. Such parents often have a regular visitation schedule which they follow. One may pay the other support, and the two effectively co-parent. It is important to remember, however, that there is no enforceable agreement between such parents. If, for example, the father shows up at the normal time to pick up the child, and the mother refuses to hand him or her over, then the dad will not be able to enforce his regular visitation. Moreover, law enforcement will not become involved as, under Florida law, the parents are seen as having equal rights to the child. In other words, any arrangements which parents are following, when no custody order is in place, can fall apart quickly.
It is generally advisable that parents obtain a custody order even if they are on good terms. This helps to ensure that problems do not arise in the future. If, for example, the parents have a set visitation schedule and monthly support amount, then it is possible to memorialize this agreement into an order of the Court. This will ensure that the arrangement is followed in the event that disagreements ever arise between the parents. An experienced attorney can help to draft such the appropriate pleadings for submission to the Court.
Melbourne, Florida fathers should assert their rights in order to create an equal “status quo”
As I explained in my last article, the Court’s main concern in any child custody case is going to be for the best interests of the child. When deciding what is in the child’s best interests, one factor the Court will consider is the historical relationship between each parent and the child. This means that the Court may be unwilling to upset a long standing “status quo.”
Say, for example, that two unmarried parents have no custody order in place. Now suppose that those parents, for several years, have been following a schedule in which the dad has the child on the weekends only. If the father attempted to gain joint custody of the child, then the Court may be unwilling to grant such a request due to the historical patterns that the parents have followed. This means that a dad, who believes he may want joint or even primary custody at some point, should assert such a request sooner, rather than later. It is important to remember that how any given Court will rule is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case.
If you are a dad in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne fathers’ rights lawyer. My office is founded on the belief that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation and the highest levels of service. Call today to speak with a child custody attorney. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.