On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
There’s one divorce approximately every 36 seconds in the United States. That’s over 875,000 divorces a year, or 2,400 divorces per day!
If there’s one thing you should take away from the shocking divorce statistics in the U.S. is that you’re not alone if you’re planning to get a divorce soon or are in the middle of one.
But divorces get complicated if you have children. Statistics show that nearly 17 million American children live in single-mother families. And only nearly 2 million children live with their single fathers.
The seemingly outrageous statistics causes many people to assume that mothers have greater child custody rights after divorce than fathers. But this is, in fact, not true.
Do mothers have more rights to child custody than fathers?
Either you reside in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere else across Florida, there is no custody law that gives mothers a preference or any extra rights to custody of their children.
Today, our best Fort Lauderdale family law attorneys are going to answer your questions about child custody rights for fathers and mothers.
If you’re going through a divorce and you share children with your spouse, it’s vital to understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent going through a divorce.
If you don’t find answers to your questions in this article, consult our family law attorney personally by calling the Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., toll free at 954-533-2756.
What are father’s custody rights before and during divorce?
Until you have signed a custody agreement or a court has ruled a custody opinion in your divorce, both the father and the mother have the same legal rights regarding anything that has to do with their children, including their education, where they live and who they spend time with.
What are father’s custody rights after divorce?
Depending on the custody agreement you’ve signed with the mother of your children or the custody opinion ruled by a court, your custody rights as a father may range from having sole or primary physical custody to having no custody rights whatsoever.
There are four types of custody: physical, legal, sole and joint.
A parent with physical custody has the right to:
- live with their children;
- split the parenting time with the other parent equally;
- allow the other, noncustodial parent to visit their children, as noncustodial parents have the right to visitation or parenting time.
A parent with legal custody has the right to:
- make decisions about a child’s upbringing (what school to attend, what classes to take, what languages to learn, etc.).
Note: legal custody is usually shared between two parents. If you share legal custody and the other parent prevents you from the decision-making in your child’s life, you may be entitled to take legal action against the other parent.
Consult our family law attorney in Fort Lauderdale today for a free case evaluation.
Sole vs joint custody
One parent can have either sole physical custody or sole physical custody of a child if the other parent is deemed unfit by a court (if he/she has a drinking problem or issues with substance abuse or has a prior record of child abuse or neglect).
Note: family law attorneys don’t recommend seeking sole custody unless you have a legitimate reason to believe that the other parent may cause direct harm to your children or be otherwise dangerous in their upbringing.
Most parents who don’t live together and don’t mind their kids spending time with the other parent opt for joint custody, also known as shared custody.
Parents with joint custody share decision-making responsibilities for and/or physical control and custody of their children.
If you believe the other parent is violating your custody rights or you simply need the legal advice of a Fort Lauderdale family law and divorce attorney, get in touch by calling us toll free at 954-533-2756 or filling out this contact form.