Father's Rights in Florida

In instances where parents have been unable to reach a mutual decision with regards to timesharing and the custody of the child/children, it is the child’s mother who is entitled by the law to decide on timesharing which in Florida basically refers to “custody”. This provision of the law is in the assumption that the child’s mother will make every decision pertaining to the child in observance of the child’s best interest.

In cases where a child’s father has been denied visitation rights by the child’s mother, the unmarried father has the option of filing a "Petition to Establish Paternity" This petition will make it possible for him to request that the Court create a parenting plan to govern parental sharing by both parties. This is likely to result in the Father being awarded timesharing as well as "shared parental responsibility" with the mother. This essentially means that both parties shall have equal rights to access the child's records and determine major decisions in the child's life despite the fact that the mother to the child shall in most cases have more timesharing. As such, it is clear that, in cases where a mother abuses the power given to her under statutory law by not basing their decisions with the child’s best interest in mind, the court will intervene upon the father’s request. The court will thereafter make a decision based on the child’s best interest.

In cases where the mother restricts the father from the time allocated by the court, the father has the right to go back to court to file a motion for contempt or enforcement of the parenting plan or court order that gives him his time with the child in question. The court will thereafter hold the mother in contempt if it finds that she willfully and intentionally defied court orders.