Mothers’ Rights versus Fathers’ Rights
Many divorcing parents believe that the mother will receive a larger share of the child’s custodial time in their divorce. This was once the case – a combination of the tender years doctrine present in many states and traditional gender roles in the 20th century typically led to custody orders that granted mothers full custody and fathers visitation time. Today, many states have acknowledged the changing gender roles in American households and the important role fathers play in their children’s lives and altered their family laws accordingly. By changing the language used in state laws pertaining to the development of parenting plans, lawmakers not only acknowledged the evolving ways heterosexual couples parent, but also the presence of same sex couples with children.
Mothers and fathers have the same rights under Florida law. The factors that determine a child’s parenting plan include each parent’s ability to provide for the child financially, each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the court, and each parent’s involvement in the child’s day-to-day life.
Gender Does Not Matter in Florida Family Cases
When the court develops a parenting plan, it does so without regard to the parents’ genders. In fact, Florida law explicitly states that the court may not harbor any presumptions against a child’s mother or father when creating or modifying a parenting plan for the child.
Overcoming Gender Bias in Family Court
If you are concerned that your gender will have a negative impact on your likelihood of reaching the parenting plan you are seeking, demonstrate your parenting fitness to the court with evidence. Evidence you can use to show that you have a strong relationship with your child and that a parenting plan that gives you 50 percent or more of your child’s parenting time includes:
- Testimonies from other adults in your child’s life like his or her teacher and pediatrician;
- Documentation showing your involvement in your child’s life, such as records of you being the parent to pick him or her up from school, records that show your involvement in his or her extracurricular activities, and documentation of your daily schedule showing your role in your child’s routine; and
- Information about your home that shows its size, the members of your household, and how its location determines your child’s access to an academically rigorous school district.
It is no secret that some courts are biased against fathers. In these cases, parents must push back against judicial bias for their children’s benefit.
Work with an Experienced Winter Park Family Lawyer
Never accept assumptions about your parenting ability or role in your child’s life related to your gender. You have the same rights to your child that your former partner has, so do not feel discouraged or intimidated out of asserting those rights in court. Contact our team of experienced Winter Park family lawyers at Sperling Ducker PLC today to set up your initial consultation with our team. We can answer all of your questions and advocate for you in court.