All parents and child custody proceedings, whether divorce or paternity, have equal rights under Florida law. Parents have constitutional rights to raise their children. Generally Florida courts will not restrict a mother or father’s rights unless it would be detrimental to the children not to do so.
There is no presumption in favor of either parent regardless of gender. Generally a father’s rights are the same as a mother’s rights. Although both parents start out with equal rights that does not always mean equal time sharing. A divorce attorney or a family law attorney can assist with presenting evidence the court will need to determine the specific time sharing schedule in the best interest of the children.
One of the biggest factors to consider is whether a parent can facilitate a meaningful relationship with the other parent. Withholding timesharing from the other parent may justify the court awarding last time sharing to the parent during the withholding. The court must also consider the burden placed on parents and children to facilitate additional time sharing such as how much time the children must ride in a car.
If you are considering child custody litigation please contact the divorce and family law attorneys of Napier & Rollin.