Fathers have a right to be involved in their child's life.
In 2023, the law changed to now create a presumption of 50/50 timesharing to mothers and fathers. However, in Florida fathers who are not married do not automatically have these rights to be involved in their children's lives or to make decisions for their children. In fact, although a father does not have custody rights, he may still be required to pay child support. Our office can assist dads in establishing their legal rights to their kids. Once paternity rights are established, the father has legal rights to the child no matter what the circumstances are between the mother and himself. If you are not married to your child's mother, it's important that you contact a paternity lawyer to enforce your rights. At Family Matters Law Group, we will help protect your parental rights so that you can be a part of your child's life — now and in the future.
Once a paternity action is filed, you will be required to have a parenting plan. In Florida we no longer use the term custody, we instead have the concepts of timesharing and parental responsibility – these concepts are incorporated into a parenting plan. Timesharing is where the child spends time and can include regular timesharing, holidays and vacations. Parental responsibility is the ability to make decisions for the child, such as what school they will be attending, or if a medical procedure should take place. All of these ideas get incorporated into a parenting plan in Florida. Working with an experienced and thoughtful attorney will be critical to make sure your parenting plan considers all of the likely possibilities and issues. As a prior family therapist Leisa Wintz has been navigating these issues for 2 decades. We are moms and attorneys so we have the personal and professional experience needed to help you get a parenting plan that will work for you. Although parenting plans can be modified, it is not always easy to accomplish and that is why having the right plan from the start can make a huge difference for your family. Parenting plan also should not be "cookie cutter" or copy and paste plans, they should be individually tailored to your families' needs.