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Do Unmarried Fathers Have Equal Rights in Florida?

do unmarried fathers have equal rights in floridaThere are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the rights of unmarried fathers in Florida. Some assume that marriage affects their rights or removes all of their parental rights. This is not entirely true.

What should you know about the rights of unmarried fathers and what should you do if your rights are violated?

Establishing Paternity

First and foremost, you must establish paternity. If the father is not listed on the birth certificate, an attorney can help him establish paternity through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form or a court order.

Once paternity is established, the father can then establish his legal rights. You can read more about parental rights in Florida by visiting:

What Rights Do Unmarried Fathers Have?

One of the most important rights of unmarried fathers is the right to have a say in their child’s upbringing. This includes decisions about the child’s:

  • Education
  • Medical care
  • Religious upbringing

These decisions must be made in the best interest of the child. Parents sometimes struggle to agree on what’s best, which is when the court might need to step in.

Parenting Time for Unmarried Fathers

Unmarried fathers also have the right to time with their children. Depending on the family, this could include overnight visits, holidays, and vacations.

If parents cannot agree, the court will establish a parenting plan that outlines a schedule for parenting time between both parents. Fathers need to comply with the parenting plan to ensure their rights are protected.

Child Support

Child support is another important issue for unmarried fathers.

In Florida, both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. Failure to pay child support can result in legal consequences.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Rights?

The court expects unmarried fathers to establish a strong relationship with their children. Spending quality time with the child, attending school and medical appointments, and being involved in their daily life can help establish this bond.

Making an effort to be part of your child’s life is beneficial when the court is determining parenting arrangements. The court can hold it against you if you fail to meet your parental obligations.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney If You Have Questions About Your Parental Rights

Unmarried fathers have a legal right to be part of their child’s life. It’s important for fathers to take an active role in their children’s lives and to comply with court orders to ensure these rights are protected. If you are an unmarried father in Florida, it is important to seek legal advice to protect your rights and the best interests of your child.

If you’d like to know more about fathers’ rights in Florida or you’re ready to schedule a consultation, contact Geller Family Law at (813) 405-1509.

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