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Can Unmarried Fathers Obtain Custody?

Florida family law is quite gender-neutral, and courts believe that the best environment for a child to grow in is one in which the parents of the child are both involved in the child's life. But when it comes to having a child out of marriage, the father of the child is not always favored when it comes to getting visitation and child custody; at least not without a fight.

Under family laws in Florida, if a man is not married to the mother of his child, he will have to take legal action before he can be involved in the child's life. Both parents may have to make the father's position formal by putting his name on the birth certificate as the father. Once the father's name is on the birth certificate, he will have full paternal rights and involvement with the child.

If, for instance, the mother refuses to sign the paternity acknowledgment, the father can petition the court for a paternity test. Once the paternity is confirmed, the court will issue an order naming him as the father of the child. With the order, he can seek custody and get visiting rights to the child.

The Effect of Paternity denial on other members of the family

The father and every other member of the family have no legal rights over the child until the father has been declared to be the father. It is then that the members of his family can have anything to do with the child legally.

Divorced dads can also be affected

Fathers' rights over their children can be a problem in cases of contested divorces. Courts want parents to find ways to resolve their issues out of court as well as agree on custody and visitation arrangements which they must submit to the court. If a father litigates visitation or custody matters in court, he could find himself fighting a fierce legal battle and would need the services of a family law practice in Winter Park. Consequently, in child custody cases, fathers need strong family law practice in Winter Park for support.

Seek for help

By default, fathers have to do more work to prove that they are suitable parents. Also, more fathers are found to suffer more from parental alienation campaigns than women, and this reduces their chances of being seen as fit parents. If you are not married, but you have a child that you want to be a part of his or her life, contact a family law practice in Winter Park today. Speak with a family law attorney by booking a consultation with Frank Family Law Practice. Call 407 629 2208.