The custody of a child depends on the status of the parents, whether they are married or not. In the state of Florida, it is assumed that at the birth of a child, if the mother is married, then the father of the child is the husband even without court order paternity acknowledgment. This means that if the parents are married and there is no court order for the custody of the child, then the parents both have equal rights for the custody of the child.
However, if the married couple cannot agree on where the child will live, they may file for divorce or custody action to get a court order on the custody. And if the parents of the child are divorced, custody of the child should be stated in the divorce order. The most recent court order on custody is the one that should be followed.
In the event that the parents are not married, paternity can be established as soon as the child is born in the hospital. Paternity or court order paternity acknowledgment is a legal document that identifies the child’s father that is usually completed at the hospital after the child is born. This document establishes the child’s father without the need to go to court.
The establishment of paternity is important and can be used for the mother to receive child support for every child she shares with the father. The establishment of paternity is also important for financial reasons. The established father may be able to assist with personal health insurance benefits or other governmental support, such as a disability or military benefits if applicable. It is important for visitation rights and the child’s upbringing. The child would also be able to have the legal right to the inheritance of the father.
The mother of a child born outside of marriage has sole legal custody of the child unless a court has issued an order giving someone else custody. But if the father would like custody of the child, the father will need to establish paternity and ask the court for a custody order
In the State of Florida, shared parental responsibility is strongly advised unless the parents are unable to agree, in which case a judge will decide. Ideally, the court wants both parents to be involved in their child’s upbringing and life. A parenting plan is advised to be agreed upon by both parties. A parenting plan is a document agreed both by the parents of a minor child and approved by the court. If the parents cannot agree, then it is established by the court to determine the custody, parental responsibility, and visitation rights.
All in all, the custody of a child must always be at the child’s best interest. Maintaining a close, loving relationship with both parents is generally in the child’s best interest, however, the practicality of this type of relationship can be challenging. So to identify the child’s best interest, the physical and mental health as well as the entire stability of each parent should be considered.
The custody of the child depends if the parents are married or not. If they are married, both have equal rights to the custody of the child. But if not, a court order paternity acknowledgment should be established for the father to receive rights and responsibility to the child in terms of visitation, financial support, among many other issues.
Are you struggling in filing or determining child custody?
Call Marquez-Kelly Family Law Attorney at 239-214-0403. Contact today and get a free half-hour consultation. Or, message us here: https://www.marquezkellylaw.com/contact-us/. We serve Fort Myers and Cape Coral in Florida.