Many fathers mistakenly assume that the law favors their child’s mother. Whether you’re just starting a divorce or looking to get full custody after your divorce has been finalized, you have rights.
In Orlando, Florida, courts are not allowed to give preference to a mother or father, absent extreme circumstances. Instead, you both start on equal footing.
Florida Law Pertaining to Child Custody
Florida law makes clear that fathers are not to be treated as lesser parents. In most cases, neither parent is granted full custody, as that’s not in your child’s best interest. When a court makes a custody determination, their sole concern is what is in your child’s best interest. In almost all situations, having both parents in their life is the best outcome for your child.
Determining the best interests of a child is unique to each situation. While there are certain factors a judge will look to, every family and every child custody dispute is different and requires a personalized evaluation by the court.
Hiring a lawyer skilled in child custody matters allows you to lean on their prior knowledge when navigating the child custody process. When you partner with a child custody lawyer, you can expect:
- Compassionate guidance and aggressive legal advocacy
- Negotiation with your child’s other parent in mediation and court
- Legal advice on the next steps
- Preparation and review of parenting plans to ensure your rights are protected
These are just a few ways that an attorney can assist you.
Getting Full Custody
Let’s be clear: full custody for either parent is rare in Orlando, Florida. Unless extreme circumstances exist—imprisonment, abuse, neglect—neither parent is often granted full custody.
Usually, what happens is that one parent assumes primary shared parenting responsibility. This means your child lives with that parent and shares that parent’s home address. That’s not to diminish the other parent’s rights. Instead, it’s about creating the most stable and supportive environment for your child.
It’s not easy for one parent to get full custody. You’ll need to show that giving any parental responsibility to your child’s mother would be detrimental to your child. If you can prove any of the following, you might be able to get full custody:
- The mother has abused or neglected your child
- The mother abuses drugs or alcohol, especially in the presence of your child
- The mother is in prison
- The mother is prohibiting you from having a relationship with your child
You might also have a good case for full custody if your child’s mother has previously violated your shared parenting plan (assuming one is in place). This shows that the mother does not respect your relationship with your child and would be unlikely to follow any subsequent orders of the court. This example may be enough to persuade a judge to grant you full custody.
Be aware, however, that if you are able to get full custody of your child—an extremely high bar—the court might not take away the mother’s rights. You’ll still need to comply with visitation requirements unless you can prove that the mother is likely to try to take the child and not return.
Contact the Orlando Family and Child Custody Law Firm of Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC for Help Today
Child custody matters are emotional and often complex. Partner with an experienced legal advocate who can help you sort through the mess and reach an outcome that’s suitable for you and your child.
Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC
815 N Magnolia Ave Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803