You are an active father who contributes significantly to the overall well-being of your child. Not only do you financially provide for your kid, but you play an active role in everything from potty training to homework. As your marriage starts coming to an end, you may fear this connection getting lost due to a contentious fight over custody.
It is important to fight for your rights and interests as a divorcing dad. If you want to protect your rights as a dad in Florida, here are some important things you should know.
1. Child support should be a completely separate issue
If the court gives you a temporary support order when you file for divorce, you must make the payments to the best of your ability and avoid talking about it when you negotiate custody. When you mention child support in the same discussion, your ex and the judge may assume you simply want more custody to get out of paying for support. It is best to keep these issues distinct.
2. The family courts value your relationship
Believe it or not, Florida laws state that all decisions should be made according to the best interests of your child. You may assume your ex-wife will automatically get custody because of her gender, but that is not necessarily true. If you demonstrate that you are just as–if not more–caring and nurturing as the mother, the court will give you a fair consideration.
3. You will need to compromise
While you should defend your rights as a father vigorously, you will also need to extend some olive branches throughout the process. If the custody battle is full of vicious attacks, your ongoing co-parenting relationship with your ex will only be worse. Be reasonable throughout custody negotiations to avoid unnecessary toxicity.
Now that you know these three facts, you can be ready for custody negotiations.