Under Florida law, the mother is the natural guardian of a child born out of wedlock. A guardian is a person who has been entrusted with the custody and control of another person by law. The single mother has legal custody of the child automatically. A parent who has not legally established the paternity of a child has no legal rights.
Custody laws for unmarried couples in Florida state that the mother is the natural guardian. You have legal custody at the time the child is born. A father can request visitation, but it will be the mother who decides if she wants the child to see the father. If the mother is concerned that the father will refuse to return the child after a visit, she should proceed with caution.
It is always recommended that visits take place inside the mother's home, with supervision, or in a safe public place. This is especially true if this is the first time a parent meets the child. If you and your partner with whom you have separated children and are not married, the first thing you will ask yourself is who will be appointed guardian. The mother will automatically have legal custody of the child in the event that an unmarried couple separates.
Even if the father's name is on the birth certificate, this does not automatically grant rights to the father in Florida, since most cases require paternity to be established before rights are granted to the single father. In fact, if paternity is not established, the mother has no obligation to offer visits to the father; however, this does not mean that the father runs out of options in this circumstance. Sole Custody No Longer Exists in Florida. The term “sole custody” hasn't been used in Florida for years.
However, there is exclusive parental responsibility and that is what is used to describe a situation in which one of the parents seeks the retention of the full rights and responsibilities of parenthood with respect to their child. When a parent has sole parental responsibility, he or she has full authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. There is no need to consult the other parent when making important life decisions that affect the child. Florida custody law begins with the presumption that it is in the best interest of children to spend substantial quality time with each parent.
A custodial parent seeking sole custody rights is asking the court to restrict or deny a parent's visitation rights. As such, the parent must show that the restraint is necessary to protect the child. In Florida, it's rare for either parent to get sole parental responsibility and custody. For a court to grant full custody to either parent, the court must determine that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the children and would not be in their best interest.
If one parent ends up with primary custody of the child, they can also choose to seek child support from the other parent. The parent seeking sole custody must show that it is in the best interest of the child to severely minimize the amount of time the other parent has with him. During divorce proceedings, Florida courts assume that it is in the best interests of the child that both parents share equal responsibility in raising and caring for that child. The trial judge heard the expert, suspended the mother's timeshare and gave the father sole legal and physical custody and child support for a period of three months.
In all states, both legal parents are required by law to support their children financially, regardless of whether or not the parents were married when the child was born, or whether or not they married at a later time. In your own state, an experienced family law attorney can probably give you a rough idea of the amount of child support the court will require. However, this same law also prevents single mothers from seeking parental support without proof of paternity. If children are involved, it is important for parents to try to reach an agreement on child custody, visitation rights, and child support.
A family law court can change the monthly amount of child support if a parent's income or the needs of the children change. Depending on the situation and the facts in the case, the court may also grant the mother sole physical custody of the child. In other cases, the services of a properly trained child custody evaluator may be used to perform psychological testing on both parties during a contested custody case. At a final hearing, or in a child custody trial in family law court, the judge will hear all the evidence in the case.
However, if the child was born to a single mother without legally establishing the father's paternity, the mother will have sole custody of the child in the state of Florida. At this point, it will be up to the judge to decide in the best interests of the child when determining custody and timeshare. Child custody evaluators in Florida are often highly trained and qualified mental health professionals with experience in psychological testing. .