Protecting the Rights of Fathers across Central Florida
Historically, the court system was biased against fathers in divorce and paternity cases. In recent times, the Father’s Rights movement has given rise to gender equality in family law. Florida legislation even amended the terminology to reflect the changes in the law. For example, words like “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced by “time-sharing.” Divorce and paternity laws encourage equal responsibility for all decisions in a child’s life. In the courtroom, the most critical factor in a divorce or paternity case is the child’s best interests. As recently as April 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation to support involved fatherhood in Florida.
At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we are committed to providing fathers in need with the legal support they deserve. We protect Father’s Rights when they are filing for a divorce, after a divorce is finalized, or if the parents were never married. Attorney Kathleen Davies has more than thirty-five years of experience, in and out of the courtroom, with proven results in family law matters. Our office assists fathers who wish to remain in their children’s lives.
The Importance of a Father-Child Relationship
Many advantages are afforded to children with an involved father during childhood and adolescence. Studies have shown that having an active father figure profoundly affects a child’s development. Children who share a relationship with their father perform better cognitively and are less likely to commit juvenile crimes. A supportive father boosts a child’s self-esteem and confidence. High levels of father involvement correlate with sociability and positive behaviors.
Although the courts have an increased awareness of Father’s Rights, many dads do not have the access to their children that they deserve and desire. In many cases, it is a simple matter of not protecting their rights.
Florida assumes parentage when a child is born into a marriage. Unmarried fathers must assert their rights by legally establishing paternity. Once paternity for the child of unmarried parents is established, the court determines time-sharing arrangements, child support, and other aspects of the parenting plan. An unmarried father can prove paternity in several ways:
- The parents sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form
- The marriage of the parents
- Voluntary DNA testing
- Court ordered DNA testing.
Fathers Facing Divorce
Many fathers are concerned about their rights regarding their children following a divorce. While the law allows for time-sharing and decision-making powers for fathers, unfounded allegations can limit or terminate a father’s rights. For example, an ex-spouse may make false allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, or abandonment to gain leverage in time-sharing and custody decisions. At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we will work with you to dispute false claims, assert your rights as a parent, and create shared parenting arrangements that are fair and workable.
There are cases where a mother is deemed “unfit” to raise a child, perhaps because of alcohol or substance abuse, physical or mental disability, or safety issues. The father can often provide the best home environment, yet his rights are nonetheless diminished. At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we will aggressively stand up for your rights to provide you and your children with the best outcome possible.
How We Can Help
We take Father’s Rights at The Davies Law Firm, LLC very seriously. Whether you are an unmarried father, or a former spouse seeking fair and equitable time-sharing and decision-making for your children, we can make sure your rights are upheld. We work closely with fathers to prove to the court that they can provide a safe and stable environment, have a supportive relationship, and positively influence the child’s development.
In Florida, a father has the same legal rights as a mother and is entitled to equal time-sharing and support. If you feel your rights as a father are being compromised, take action now. Our family law firm represents fathers in Brevard, Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties. Contact The Davies Law Firm, LLC, at 855-688-4713 to schedule a Free Consultation with an attorney that cares about preserving your parental rights as a father.