Florida Parental Rights for Fathers

by Anonymous from Florida

I am the father of a 5 year old little girl. I have been providing for her financially and up until Sunday was able to visit/take with her when ever I wanted.

Due to a personal disagreement with the mother she is refusing to let me see her and has threatened to "never let me see her again".

What are my rights as a father in this case and what do I need to do in order to ensure that I will be allowed to at least visit with my child.

I also fear that the mother is unfit to take care of my daughter and would like to know how I can apply for custody. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Anonymous,

If you are an unmarried father and custody/visitation has not been previously established by court order, then you will need to file a Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief Form 12.983(a) and the required forms the instructions for this petition lists.

Many people do not realize that just because child support has been ordered by a court, your parental rights (visitation, custody, etc..) are not fully established.

This is what the petition for paternity process is for. You will be able to file Pro Se (representing yourself) with this form. Have a look at our Form 12.983(a) web-powered instructions page.

Your concern for the safety of your child and the mother's ability to care for him should prompt you to at least seek some legal advice before appearing in court.

There are many free and low cost legal resources in the state of Florida. See our Florida Legal Resources page for more information.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Comments for Florida Parental Rights for Fathers

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Teen Custudy
by: Anonymous

I have a son that is 1 month from being 16 years old. His mother wouldn't let me have contact with him until a couple of years ago. Now my son wants to live with me. They live in Florida and I live in Kansas. What would I need to do to proceed with actions for my son to come live with me? --Harold

--That all depends on whether or not there is an existing court order. If no court order exists, then the Petition for Paternity filing procedure would be the way to go. If a court order does exist, and it is from a Florida court, then you will need to file a Supplemental Petition to Modify. Search for these procedures on our site for more information. --Staff

Left High and Dry
by: Anonymous

I am legally married to my wife she and left me 5 years ago after a DNA test proved I was not the father of our first born. I later found out that she was receiving financial compensation from the paternal grand parents of the child. She does not live with the children, they are in the care of her mother who lied to the courts to gain an award of child support from me.

I was told by her lawyer the district attorney I could appear via internet for the proceedings however, that was not the case and the judge ordered my name to be placed on the birth certificates. Being that there was no paper work filed for separation or custody and we are legally married. What are my rights? Do I have to petition the court for custody or can I legally take my children from her mothers care. I live about 1300 miles away.

--I feel for you. This is a very complicated set of circumstances. I don't think there is a form in existence that can address your situation. You need legal advice. Use our free lawyer referral service to get a free or low cost consultation in your area. --Staff

Single Father Living With Daughter
by: Anonymous

My future husband lives in Miami and tells me that about 6 years ago he had to give custody of his then around 15 year old daughter to her grandparents due to a Florida Law. He said that since he was a single male, she couldn't live with him alone and that was decided by a judge who notified him. This sounds really strange and I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a man that is lying to me about such an important issue. Please, tell me if such law exists. I'm from another state and have never heard of this type of custody law.

--It's more than strange, it sounds like a load of bull to me. Trust your instincts.

Info on How to See My Kid and What Rights I Have
by: Anonymous

I live in Florida. My babys mother was here pregnant then she left and took off to Pennsylvania and had the child about a month ago. Shes trying to do anything to block me out of my kids life. What rights do I have and does she have the right to keep me from her or even leaving here when she was pregnant?

--Unfortunately, unless your are married to the baby's mother or you have a pending case concerning parenting issues with your child, the mother has all the rights concerning the baby. Now that she is living in another state, these issues are very complicated. Get a free or low cost consultation with a lawyer to find out what options you have at this point. Good luck. --Staff

Concerned Step Mother
by: Heart Broken

My boyfriend of 5 years has a young daughter, we met when she was 3 months old and until May 4 of 2012 although there was a rocky relationship with the bitter mother of his child we would see his little girl quite often. At times she would be dropped off with us for a month or 2 at a time. After a disagreement the mother picked the child up and completely blocks any kind of communication between us and my boyfriend's daughter.

He desperately misses her and simply wants to maybe speak with her on the phone or visit her I'm person for the first time in over 2 years. What kind of rights does my boyfriend have and what can be done to end his fight to be in his little girls life?

The simple answer is he needs to have his rights established by the courts. See our Petition for Paternity page for more information. --Staff

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