If you are a Florida resident and have a child out of wedlock, this is something that you should know. Unmarried parents can establish custody or visitation rights by having the court issue an order granting them those rights. Let’s go over some details about how to do it and what the law states for unmarried couples in Florida.
Florida Child Custody Law For Unmarried Couple
A couple’s separation can be a difficult time for both parties. Therefore, it’s essential to know what the law says about child custody when you are unmarried in Florida so that neither party can take advantage of the other during this challenging transition period.
Suppose parents are never married, and there was no court order about visitation or custody before they split up. In that case, one parent will not see their children unless he marries her or obtains an official parenting plan from the court.
However, since judges prefer to award joint legal decision-making authority (this means having an equal say over matters) whenever possible, most courts view cohabitation as tantamount to marriage even though couples aren’t formally wed.
If either parent decides that he wants sole custody, he must file an action with the court to obtain it. Hiring a family law attorney in Daytona Beach for child custody is a good idea in these cases. After you have filed your petition for control and the other parent responds by filing his petition, either party might request that the judge schedule a final hearing or trial on child custody matters before them.
The couple’s attorneys will determine whether this is advisable based on what they know about their cases at this time; if not, there can be another mediation session instead of yet another full-blown trial.
Each parent should bring copies of important documents like birth certificates, tax returns, social security numbers, and paystubs to make things easier when it comes time to present evidence in court since these papers are all essential elements needed to win custody cases.
Suppose unmarried parents have been able to work out their child custody arrangement. In that case, they can file an affidavit with the court stating what it is and submit any necessary documentation as exhibits. However, these agreements aren’t always legally binding, so if there’s ever a conflict or disagreement in the future, then they will need evidence of this agreement just like you would for any other type of contract drawn up between two parties.
In addition to affidavits from both parents, judges often want proof such as texts sent back and forth on smartphones about how certain events went down since nothing beats actual records to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt at trial or the trial mediation session. After all is said and done, the judge will rule on child custody based on what they believe would be in the best interest of the children involved.
Who has Legal Custody For The Child If Parents Are Not Married?
If parents are not married and there is a dispute regarding who has legal custody of the child, it will be left up to the court to decide. For example, if both parents live in Florida or one parent lives in Florida, the other does not, but they have shared parenting responsibilities over their children.
Child Support Enforcement can help with establishing paternity through DNA testing if necessary.
There are no laws that specifically address unmarried couples’ rights regarding issues involving children of cohabiting partners. This means that an agreement between parties would need to be made outside of any courtroom action to follow all deals correctly by either party involved.
Do Unmarried Parents Have Equal Rights?
For unmarried parents, the law states that both parents have equal rights to their children. However, this does not mean that both parents are awarded full custody of the child or given ‘joint’ physical custody.
The law states that both parents should be involved in important decisions regarding the child, and there should be an even 50/50 split when it comes to spending time with the child under normal circumstances.
Florida’s Child Custody Law – Unmarried Parents
According to the law in Florida;
- All mothers will get instant parental right to kid(s) at birth
- Both parents will share equal rights for custody
- Fathers are allowed visitation rights and custody varying on the DNA test (paternity).
- The law includes parents having the right to decision-making for medical care, religion, and education.
- Biological parents will be granted “parent” as a legal term
- For joint custody, parental planning should be submitted along with paternity proof to the court.
- Once the child reaches the right age, the law takes the child’s decision to whom they want to live with
Understanding physical custody and legal custody is essential.
For unmarried parents, there is no difference between legal and physical custody. Both terms refer to a parent’s rights with regards to their children and where they live for most of their time. Regarding child custody issues, courts will generally consider these two matters the same because both are required for equal parenting responsibilities over the child(children).
Legal custody refers to making decisions regarding medical treatment or schooling. In contrast, physical custody deals with who has actual possession over the kids at any given time, such as which residence they stay at when not under other circumstances (i.e., school-related reasons).
Understanding the law when it comes to child custody is crucial whether you are married or not. This can help prevent any future misunderstandings between the two parties involved over these matters and make sure that all of your needs as a parent are being met regarding co-parenting with your partner after a divorce has occurred.