Do Fathers Really Have the Same Rights In Divorce?

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, one of the most common questions we receive during divorce is if fathers have the same rights as the mother during the process. While the common idea is that the mothers are mostly granted custody and support, fathers are granted the same exact rights. The court is not supposed to look at gender when making their decisions; rather, the focus should be on the best interests of the child or children involved.

For a father, it is important to establish that the bond between himself and the child or children is crucial in their development. This would be in the best interests of the children and the court may grant custody or visitation, depending on the situation and the relationship of the children and the mother. In any case, should the father have a healthy relationship with the children, they possess the same rights as the mother in a divorce.

The father’s rights include:

  • Right to custody
  • Right to support
  • Right to visitation
  • Right to paternity

In instances of paternity, this may be a crucial step if the parents were unmarried. There are numerous ways to determine paternity including a DNA test, Acknowledgement of Paternity, court order, marriage, or legitimation. Paternity is often decided in cases involving child custody disputes or support. Once again, if the father is acknowledged, they have the same rights as the mother as long as it is in the best interests of the child.

If your rights as a father are being violated, you can seek legal counsel from a Tampa family law attorney. It is important to make sure that as a father, your rights are protected so you are treated fairly in custody and support matters. Your bond with your child or children deserves to grow even in the event of a divorce.