Many fathers who are going through a divorce or a child custody dispute may feel that they are at a disadvantage because of their gender. They may have heard stories of how New Port Richey, Florida, mothers always get custody of the children, or how fathers must pay exorbitant amounts of child support and alimony. They may wonder if they have any rights at all as fathers, or if they are doomed to lose their children and money.
However, these stories are not based on reality. In fact, Florida law does not give a preference to mothers. Each case is handled neutral to the gender of each parent. The court’s primary goal is to determine what is in the best interests of the children, not what is best for the parents.
What factors do the courts consider in Florida child custody cases?
According to Florida Statute, Section 61.13, the court must consider several factors when deciding how to allocate parental responsibility and time-sharing between the parents. The court looks to whether you can demonstrate a parent-child relationship. In addition, the court looks at whether you have and will likely continue to honor the parenting time-sharing schedule. And, the court looks to whether you and your ex-spouse plan to delegate your responsibilities to third parties.
The court also looks to the demonstrated capacity of each parent to act in the best interests of the child. Family courts also look to the length of time the child has lived with each parent and how the parents have maintained the parenting plan’s continuity. As you can see, the court has a lot of discretion in deciding what is best for your children. You can always contact a family law attorney in Lutz or New Port Richey, Florida to assert your interests in a divorce or assist with mediation either before or during a divorce.