There’s been a lot of conversation on custody rights as it pertains to unmarried parents through out South Florida and West Palm Beach. Many agree that there has been a heavy lean toward the mother in past cases. However, the judicial system has made great strides not to lean toward either parent and make changes for the better on behalf of the child in all child custody cases.
In an unmarried situation, the mother has legal rights until legal paternity can be established. That means, under Florida Law there is no obligation for child support to be paid until legal paternity has been established. Legal Paternity is established through DNA or blood testing.
Once paternity has been established a parenting plan can also be established through the Florida Courts. A parenting plan allows you to set the following:
- Visitation Schedule
- Child Support
- Healthcare and Medical Decisions
It is most beneficial for children to have shared parental responsibility where parents can amicably agree and follow the parental plan allowing open lines of communication between parent and child as well as visitation. In the case that a mutually agreeable plan can not be established, the Florida Courts and your Florida Family Law Attorney can assist!
In these times, emotions are high and it is always beneficial to have a non-partial third party helping you and advising you on what is best for both you and your child. As well, it is very difficult to seek sole custody or completely cut off a parent from visitation simply due to someone being a “a bad mom” or “a bad dad”. These are opinions and need substantial evidence of abuse, neglect, and /or drug abuse. Even in the case of addiction when the child is safe, the court may lean still on the child having access to that parent. In all accounts, seek the advise of council with a Florida Family Law Attorney. No one has to go it alone.