As Miami divorce lawyers, we are frequently approached by male clients who are concerned about their ability to stay involved in the lives of their children after their divorce is completed. After all, children are precious loved ones and fathers often wish to stay involved and have a constructive relationship with their children as any caring parent would. However, fathers are often concerned that they are automatically at a disadvantage and that courts are partial towards siding with mothers during divorce proceedings.
If you have any of these same concerns, we have some good news for you! Fathers legally have the same rights to visitation, custody, and more when it comes to divorce involving children. In fact, the law states that both the father and mother must be considered on equal footing during a divorce and instead other conditions, such as employment, schedule, and home life are used to make these decisions. Here is some further information regarding fathers’ rights during a divorce.
Child Custody & Visitation
Mothers are often seen as nurturing and having the best relationship with their children, but today's families are often more complex than that and your exact situation may not resemble this traditional outlook at all. While it’s true that courts used to be somewhat partial to mothers when awarding custody or visitation terms, today they are far more inclined to keep both parents involved in their children’s lives as much as possible.
Instead, courts now award custody based on each parent’s relationship with their child, how beneficial custody or visitation will be, and each parent’s ability to care for and raise their child as part of their custody responsibilities. Judges will often weigh things such as each parent’s work schedules, their income, their ability to bring children to school or other activities, and the quality of home life they can provide (such as any history of abuse, alcoholism, or drug usage). Fathers have a right to stay involved in the life of their children, and so long as fathers have the ability to provide for their children, they can expect to receive at least joint custody of their kids and spend substantial time with them.
Child Support & Alimony
Several decades ago, far more mothers were stay-at-home spouses who did not work for themselves or have much of an ability to support themselves after a divorce. This means that in the event of a divorce, wives were far more likely to receive large child support and alimony payments in order to be able to sustain themselves with limited employment opportunities. This is far less true today, as more women are pursuing higher educations and careers that enable them to support themselves on their own.
Child support and alimony are designed to help one spouse who cannot afford to support themselves or bear the expenses of raising children on their own receive financial help to do so. However, they’re not guaranteed and it’s also more than possible for high-earning mothers who are the primary breadwinners in their family to have to pay these awards to lesser-earning husbands.
The best interests of a child can also influence property division awards. For example, if a court determines that the father has the better ability to foster a nurturing environment for their children, they can then use that as leverage to request possession of the family home as part of the divorce. This may mean the court will award numerous other assets to their spouse in order to maintain equitable division, but odds are fathers will at least have their requests considered by the court if they can present a valid reason for it.
If you need assistance with your divorce as a father, Mitchell & West, LLC can help! Our team is committed to your best interests, and we offer uniquely-tailored, client-focused service for all your legal issues, including family law matters like divorce, child custody, and visitation. We take a team approach to your case to provide you with exceptional legal knowledge and counsel, putting decades of legal experience on your side. We firmly believe in protecting fathers’ rights in divorce, and will stand up to help you remain involved in the lives of your children and provide them with a nurturing home when your case is finalized.Call Mitchell & West, LLC today at 305-783-3301 to schedule a consultation.