Paternity proceedings, divorces, and custody battles can be tough on fathers. It can often feel like the odds are stacked against you.
Although the law is gender-neutral, fathers’ rights sometimes get shortchanged. A Boca Raton father’s rights lawyer could ensure that the court respects a father’s critical role in their children’s lives.
Reach out to a local family attorney if you are going through a court proceeding related to your children. The dedicated family law team at The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson could provide the help you need to protect your precious relationship with your children.
Timesharing (Child Custody/Visitation) Issues Impacting Fathers
Florida Statutes 561.13 requires a court to make custody decisions by determining which arrangement serves the children’s best interests. The law is specific that neither gender receives preference in timesharing (child custody/visitation) arrangements.
However, when determining the children’s best interests, the court must consider factors like the nature of each parent’s relationship with the children. Courts also strive to maintain consistency and routine in the children’s lives during and after a divorce. If a mother has been the children’s full-time caretaker, a court might be more likely to name the mother the primary residential parent. However, if parents shared caretaking responsibilities, the father could be the primary residential parent or get roughly equal parenting time.
As a Boca Raton father’s rights attorney could explain, a father increases his chances of receiving significant time with the children if he lives close to their school and has room in his residence for the children to sleep there comfortably. Being actively involved in the children’s education, extracurricular activities, and medical treatment also demonstrates a desire and capacity to have a substantial role in their upbringing.
Financial Issues and Father’s Rights
Fathers often feel that they have a heavier financial burden after a divorce. Again, although the law is neutral, its practical application could result in a father making a significant contribution to his ex-wife’s household, especially if the mother postponed or interrupted a career to care for the children. Every situation is different, but a Boca Raton father’s rights attorney could advocate for fair financial arrangements.
A formula determines the minimum child support each parent must pay. Important factors the formula considers include how many nights the children sleep in each parent’s home, the monthly net income of each parent, the number of children each parent supports, each parent’s work-related childcare expenses, and which parent pays for the children’s health insurance and who pays uncovered medical, dental, and vision expenses. With the help of a seasoned legal professional, it could be possible, but still difficult, to negotiate a smaller child support amount than the formula calls for in return for other contributions to the children’s support and well-being.
Allegations of Violence or Abuse
Tragically, divorces and breakups sometimes become so bitter that a mother will make false accusations that a father committed domestic violence, abused the children, or engaged in dangerous or criminal activity. The mother could face sanctions if she cannot prove her allegations, but once accusations of violence enter the proceedings, tamping them down is challenging.
A Boca Raton father’s rights attorney could vigorously contest any unfounded allegations of improper or criminal behavior. They could persuade a court that a parent who would make false accusations against a co-parent is not stable enough to care for the children.
Sometimes, the allegations might be exaggerated but are not completely false. In that case, a father could lessen the impact by being proactive. Taking parenting classes, going to therapy, or engaging in domestic violence prevention or batterer’s intervention programs could convince a judge that an incident is unlikely to recur.
Work With a Boca Raton Attorney to Protect Your Relationship with Your Children
Battling with a co-parent over timesharing (child custody/visitation), spousal maintenance or other parental rights can be emotionally draining and leave you feeling hopeless. You might be afraid the judge will value her contribution to your children more than yours.
A Boca Raton father’s rights lawyer could make sure the judge knows how committed you are to your role as a father and how much your children depend on you. Call today to speak with a skilled professional about your situation.