Fathers Have Rights Too in a Divorce Case

- Gary E. Williams

As traditional family roles change, more fathers are acting as primary caregivers to their children. You accepted that role when your wife got promoted to an executive position at her company in Florida. Now, as your marriage is failing and divorce seems like a real possibility, you’re not sure what rights fathers have when it comes to a parenting plan.

Currently, Florida law does not favor either parent when it comes to a parenting plan and time-sharing rights and both have equal interest in creating a parenting plan that benefits their children. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings state: “It is no longer the default assumption that child custody proceedings will produce the classic paradigm of sole custodian versus visiting parent. Many states recognize some form of joint or shared custody that affirms the decision-making and care-taking status of more than one adult.”

So, what can you do to maximize your time with your children when your divorce is final? Here are some things to consider:

  • Be active in the kid’s lives and if possible, relocate to the same district where your kids go to school.
  • Make sure your residence is large enough to accommodate the kids when they visit.
  • Investigate the possibility of a flexible work schedule so you can spend time with them.
  • Don’t disparage their mom when you talk to the kids.

A family law attorney can help you in your divorce filing. Although laws may have changed, judicial prejudice in favor of the mother can still exist when it comes to a parenting plan. Don’t take that chance!