Every state in the union, including Florida, has embraced the concept of parental visitation as generally in the best interests of children and parents. The courts usually prefer to award "reasonable visitation," in which both parties work out a visitation schedule that meets their individual needs and desires rather than having a visitation plan ordered by the court. In practice, however, the custodial parent generally has more say in what is considered "reasonable."
A Florida parent who has been accused of a crime that involves a minor child may be subject to the presumption of detriment. This means that there is a risk to the child whenever that parent has visitation rights to or custody of that child. In some cases, the crime may be physical in nature such as hitting a child or taking the child out of state against a court order.
In the state of Florida, a grandparent may petition for visitation rights under a variety of circumstances, assuming that it is in the best interest of the child. Grandparents or great-grandparents may be granted visitation rights if one of the child's parents has deserted the child or if the child was born out of wedlock. Visitation may also be granted if the marriage between the child's parents has been dissolved.
It was reported on Aug. 13 that a Florida court has cleared the way for a woman to seek visitation rights for her son who was born to her former female partner. According to the report, the biological mother had moved the child to an undisclosed location and would not allow contact after the couple decided to split up. However, the ex-partner had already legally adopted the child.
Florida residents may find it interesting to learn that over 40 percent of children born in the U.S. are to unmarried couples. When it comes to child custody and visitation rights, generally unmarried fathers have to fight hard in the family court system to get a chance to see their children and be afforded the most basic parental rights.
When the parents of a child can no longer work together, generally issues surrounding child custody and visitation rights for the non-custodial parent are amplified. In most cases, a mothers' right to raise her child versus the fathers' rights to see his child are pitted against each other.
It is important for children to have a healthy relationship with their parents. Particularly in the early stages of a child's development, a strong parent-child bond is important. Even though parents in Florida who are no longer together may disagree with how much time a child should spend with the other parent, generally, it is in the best interest of the child to spend time with each parent. But, what if a visitation schedule interferes with a child's nutritional needs, and is not in the child's best interest? Should it still be enforced?
Most non-custodial parents look forward to exercising their parenting time with their children. Simply spending time with child not only helps develop the parent-child relationship, but also helps the non-custodial understand what is involved in parenting. Parents who are no longer together typically understand the issues which surround child custody and parenting time such as coordination and communication with each other. However, there are times when bitterness surrounding one's situation may cloud a parent's judgment and they may do anything to prevent the non-custodial parent from having contact with their child.
Typically, unwed Florida fathers trying to gain parental rights would be fighting an uphill battle. Doing so on one's own without proper knowledge may compound the problem, and make it much harder to get any real tangible results. Even though nothing beats having the knowledge and expertise of proficient legal counsel by one's side to help navigate the family law justice system, here are some tips that can help anyone trying to assert their rights as a parent.
Advances in reproductive technology have made it possible for many infertile couples to have a biological child through in vitro fertilization. Utilizing the same technology, many same-sex couples across the nation, including here in Florida, have been able to have a child of their own. Presently, even though Florida has specific laws in place dealing with donation of eggs, sperm or pre-embryos, the Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release an opinion on a unique parental rights case involving a lesbian couple.