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Is It Difficult for Fathers to Get Child Custody in Florida?


Long gone are the days when mothers received sole legal and physical custody in Florida divorce cases. In the modern era, fathers have equal rights when it comes to timesharing and parenting.

However, many fathers believe that Florida courts still favor mothers in custody battles. That’s not true. Fla. Stat. § 61.13 presumes that it is in the child’s best interests to have a meaningful and continuing relationship with both parents.

But that does not mean that it would be easy to get custody of your child without putting up a fight. Whether you are a father or mother, you should be prepared for an emotional and stressful process.

However, you can make the process of seeking custody less painful and frustrating by contacting an experienced family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., our Orlando child custody attorney Steve W. Marsee is committed to helping clients mitigate the stressful and emotional aspects of a custody battle.

Can I get custody rights as a father in Florida?

When it comes to fighting for your child custody rights as a father, it is important to understand that Florida courts consider a variety of factors before granting custody:

  1. The father’s physical and mental health. The father should be physically and mentally capable of supporting and caring for their child. When a father’s physical or mental health prevents him from providing a safe environment, the necessary care, and protection for the child, the court is less likely to award him custody rights.
  2. The father’s moral fitness. The Judge may refuse to give a father custody if there is documented evidence of substance abuse, dishonesty, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, or convictions of felonies and sex crimes.
  3. The father’s ability to honor the parenting plan. If a father has violated court orders in the past, he is less likely to be awarded custody and visitation rights. The Judge wants to be confident in the father’s willingness to honor the parenting plan. This can be demonstrated by a history of spending quality time with the child.
  4. The father’s willingness to put the child’s needs before his own. The father must be capable of and willing to provide a safe and stable environment for his child. The father must also be involved in his child’s education, healthcare, and other aspects of their life.
  5. The history of child abuse, neglect, abandonment, or domestic violence. The court will look at the evidence of the father’s child abuse, abandonment, neglect, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.
  6. The child’s best interests and stable environment. Last but not least, the court will consider the child’s best interests when awarding custody to any parent. The Judge will consider the amount of time the child has spent in a stable environment because Florida courts want to address the child’s need for continuity. In other words, if a father has been absent from a child’s life for five years and then shows up and wants to get custody rights, the court is unlikely to grant custody rights.

Contact an Orlando child custody attorney to discuss your situation

If you are a father seeking physical and/or legal custody of your child, you should do everything you can to prepare for a custody battle ahead of you. It is highly advised to contact a skilled Orlando child custody attorney to help you achieve a favorable outcome in your custody case.

Speak with our results-driven and compassionate attorney Steve W. Marsee by calling 407-521-7171 or filling out this contact form.

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