When fathers divorce, they often feel like they are forced into a secondary role in their children’s lives — especially when young children are involved. You may feel like it’s better for the kids to remain solely with their mother — or you may believe that the court will be biased against you.
Firstly, staying involved in your child’s life is vital for their wellbeing. Secondly, you are in Florida, where the laws are applied equally to both parents.
Numerous studies point to the importance of both parents continuing to take an active role in their child’s life after divorce. It does not mean that dueling parents need to stay together for the sake of their kids. It means that both parents need to put aside their differences and do what is best for the child.
All Florida courts will consider the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. That is their priority. Judges will usually award you shared parental responsibility for your child. You will need to agree on a parenting plan to outline how you will share time, decisions and responsibilities with the other parent.
Factors that increase the effectiveness of a father’s role in his child’s life include:
- Maintaining regular contact: Popping in and out of your child’s life does not give them the stability they need or the chance to create a solid relationship.
- Providing an economic contribution: If your child lives with his mother, your financial support will make a difference. Maintaining a household and bringing up a child is costly.
- Fill a role of authority: You are the child’s father, not their best friend. They need someone to advise them, listen to them, support them when they have problems, and tell them when they have crossed the line.
A family law attorney can help you understand more about how child custody works during a divorce. Don’t assume you can’t get a fair shake in court just because of your gender.