Fathers in Florida may feel like they are fighting an uphill battle when trying to get custody of their children. Historically, many courts have granted the majority of custody rights to the mother. However, fathers have the same custody rights as the child’s mother.
Full custody is rare
In a divorce, it is rare for one parent to get sole custody and complete parental responsibility of a child. However, in some cases, the father can get full custody.
The courts in Florida prefer that both parents are involved in raising a child. Because of this reason, timesharing arrangements often get made. Knowing that timesharing differs from deciding which parent has primary custody is important. However, there are some cases in Florida where the father gets sole custody, and there is no parental responsibility or timesharing at all.
Making the best decisions
In divorce cases in Florida, judges determine custody based on the child’s best interest, considering evidence presented. The father may obtain full custody if he is the child’s primary caregiver or if there is evidence of the mother’s repeated violations of the shared parenting plan. Full custody may also be granted to the father if the mother intentionally obstructs the father’s relationship with the child or if the father has significantly more available time to dedicate to the child.
Full custody may get awarded to the father if the mother has an untreated mental illness, substance abuse issues or a proven history of child abuse or neglect. This is also applicable if the mother is incarcerated or if granting her parental responsibility would harm the child.
In cases where the father gets full custody, the court may still arrange for the mother to have limited time with her children. Supervised visits or revisiting the timesharing plan can achieve this if the mother’s situation improves.