BEST Father’s Rights Attorney Near You in Orlando, FL
Are you unsure of the father’s rights in Florida? If you are a father in Florida, under Florida family law, you have the exact same rights to time and custody with your children as the mother.
There is a major problem that dads face when looking for the right Orlando father’s rights lawyer near you to represent them. Whether it is seeking an experienced men’s divorce attorney in Florida to help them with the divorce process, a child custody battle, or negotiating child support. That’s whether or not they have chosen the right law firm to help them. This is because we all know that some father’s rights attorneys are great, while others may fall short.
“It’s like I see a weight lifted from people’s shoulders when they find out we have a refundable retainer option I think it shows people that they can really trust us.” – Sean Smallwood, Esq.
I wanted to find a way to solve this dilemma that dads face. So, I decided to offer a refundable retainer option for payment of legal fees. Why? Most law firms will charge you a non-refundable fee to represent you, which means that if the case settles early or if you want out of the case early, they tend to deny your request for any refund.
For this reason, you are basically stuck with them, good or bad, until the case is over. However, if you opt for a refundable retainer with Smallwood, P.A., you can be assured that if for some reason, you need out of the case, you will get back any funds that the firm did not earn while working for you. Call us now: 407-574-6155
Can a Father’s Rights Lawyer in Orlando, FL Get Me 50/50 Custody?
Historically, in Florida, men would almost always receive less time-sharing and pay more child support for children than the mothers did. This resulted in children being raised primarily by the mothers with dads playing a very small role in the raising of the child.
In recent years, however, Florida lawmakers and child custody courts have realized the importance of both parents playing an active and liberal role in the raising of their children. The rights of father’s in Florida child custody and visitation cases have come further in recent years than at any time in recent history.
More now than ever before is it apparent that family law courts are issuing orders for parenting plans that allow father’s to have shared custody or 50/50 time-sharing. Some points that may contribute to an order of split time-sharing include but are not limited to:
- How active a father has historically been in the child’s life.
- Does a father have the ability to exercise half of the time-sharing if it is awarded? (Does his work schedule make 50/50 doable?).
- Would this type of parenting plan be in the child’s best interests?
- Do the parents live close enough together for 50/50 to work logistically?
- Do the parents get along and communicate well enough to allow a split visitation schedule to work?
- How old is the child?
These are only a few of the considerations that the court will use to make its decision and your Orlando divorce attorney near you can meet with you to go over additional considerations that may apply to your case by reviewing the Florida statutes with you.
The current trend seems to show that courts in heavily populated areas tend to show the most favorable results for father’s who are seeking the most time-sharing with their children. Conversely, courts in more rural and small-town areas tend to be moving more slowly in the direction of dads and still tend to favor mothers as the majority of time-sharing parents. Again, this is all heavily dependent on the facts of a person’s individual case.
You might also be looking for a men’s divorce law firm in Orlando, FL.
The Good Dad Act Of 2023
For years, fathers have faced challenging battles to secure their legal rights to be with their children, often dealing with stressful and emotional custody disputes. However, a significant shift has occurred with the introduction of The Good Dad Act in Florida. In a groundbreaking move, the State of Florida implemented the Good Dad Act through the passage of Florida House Bill #775 on July 1, 2023. This transformative legislation marks a significant stride in empowering unwed fathers who encounter custody challenges. The Good Dad Act grants these fathers enhanced rights and opportunities, affirming their active involvement in the lives of their children. This pivotal measure aims to address custody issues and foster a more equitable and supportive environment for unwed fathers navigating the complexities of custody battles, ultimately prioritizing the well-being and involvement of father’s in their children’s lives.
FL Father’s Rights Under The Good Dad Act
The Good Dad Act in Florida brought about significant changes in the rights granted to unmarried fathers. Previously, establishing paternity, and having paternal rights over a child involved a lengthy and costly court process, but now, fathers can be declared the natural guardians by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This eliminates the need for fathers to go through the court for custody rights, providing them with an equal say in crucial aspects of their child’s life.
One of the noteworthy provisions of The Good Dad Act is the newfound ability for unwed fathers to actively participate in their children’s educational, health, and religious decisions without requiring a court order. This is a welcomed change from when fathers faced restrictions in making decisions or having questions about their children’s education. This legislation now ensures unwed fathers can engage in their children’s lives and contribute to important decisions impacting their well-being, without fear of being undermined by the law or their child’s mother.
The legal framework enacted by The Good Dad Act encourages co-parenting, urging fathers to play an active role in their children’s upbringing and fostering strong, nurturing relationships. Dr. Bernard Wh Jennings, a Florida Supreme Court Mediator and a key contributor to House Bill #775, highlighted that the Good Dad Act has been upheld in recent Florida family court cases, recognizing unwed fathers as integral contributors to their children’s lives. Additionally, there is a companion Bill, Florida House Bill #1301 “Parenting and Time-sharing of Minor Children,” which removes certain requirements, allowing parents to facilitate modifications in parenting plans or time-sharing schedules without the need to demonstrate an unanticipated change in circumstances. These legislative measures collectively reflect a positive shift towards recognizing and supporting the vital role of unwed fathers in their children’s lives.
How A Father’s Rights Attorney Can Help Uphold The Good Dad Act
A father’s rights attorney in Florida plays a crucial role in ensuring the effective implementation and protection of rights granted under The Good Dad Act in Florida. These legal professionals specialize in navigating the complexities of family law in Florida, particularly advocating for fathers facing custody issues. With the implementation of The Good Dad Act, fathers now have enhanced rights, including shared custody arrangements and decision-making authority.
A Florida father’s rights attorney can guide fathers through the legal processes involved in:
- Establishing paternity
- Securing custody rights
- Addressing all other aspects covered by The Good Dad Act
They work to uphold the principles of co-parenting and help fathers actively participate in their children’s lives by ensuring their rights are recognized and protected in court. These father rights attorneys in Orlando, FL leverage their expertise to navigate the legal landscape, providing unwed fathers with the support and representation needed to assert their rights under this groundbreaking legislation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Father’s Rights in Florida
If I get 50/50 custody in Florida, does that mean there will be no child support?
This is a common myth that I hear regularly. The truth is that having an equal contact schedule does not guarantee a zero child support obligation as support calculations take several factors into consideration and time-sharing is only one of those. You could still pay support with a 50/50, but in most cases, it is lower than if you only had every other weekend schedule.
She is not letting me see my child at all; how soon can I see my child?
There are many strategic approaches to getting time-sharing up and running in a case that depends heavily on the facts of the case. However, in most cases, the first move is to get a petition filed and to serve a special order with the petition (in the Ninth Circuit) which requires contact with the child to occur unless there are serious safety concerns. This opens the door for us to use a vast array of procedural and out-of-court approaches to provide a maximum incentive for the parties to start time-sharing and co-parenting even before the case goes to mediation.
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