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Florida Mothers' Rights Laws - Divorce, Child Support, Custody

Posted by Lisa Vari

Mother’s Rights under Florida laws

Mother's Rights in Florida Paternity Actions

If a mother and father are married when a child is born the child is presumed to be a child of the marriage and the mother’s husband is presumed to be the biological and legal father of the child. If a mother is not married when she gives birth to a child, there are a number of different considerations that the mother should take into account when deciding her course of action.

The mother is designated under Florida law as the natural custodian of the minor child. This means that the mother has the initial legal right to exercise sole parental responsibility over the minor child until paternity been determined by a court of law or by consent of the parties. After giving birth, the unmarried mother of a child should consider whether she wishes to advance the legal responsibilities as well as legal rights upon the biological father. If the unmarried mother chooses, she may file a paternity action against the alleged biological father. Once a paternity action is filed and a legal father is determined by a court of law the mother will most likely have to share the parental responsibility concerning the minor child with the father. If the mother does not wish to share these rights with the legal father then she should consider whether she should file a paternity action.

Mothers’ Rights in Florida Child Support

If paternity has been established by operation of law, agreement of the parties or court action, the mother of a minor child has the right to request that the father pay child support for the benefit of the minor child. Included in Florida child support orders are also such matters as daycare costs, health insurance, the payment of the child’s non-covered medical expenses and payment of the mother's medical expenses related to the birth of the minor child. Florida child support orders are based upon Florida Child Support Guidelines. Florida law provides that it is a mother’s right to have all of a father’s income considered when calculating child support. This includes income from wages, overtime and bonuses, unreported income and self-employment income.

Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area mothers should hire an experienced Miami child support lawyer to assist them in accurately determining the proper amount of child support that should be paid by the father of a minor child. Experienced Dade County child support lawyers are especially important to utilize when it is believed that there is unreported income, the father is the owner or shareholder in a business or corporation, or is a high-income individual.

Mother’s Rights in Florida Property Distribution

When considering the proper award in a marital property equitable distribution case, Florida law provides that the family courts shall consider a number of factors that typically apply to Florida wives and mothers. These factors include the contribution of a spouse in the role as a homemaker, the efforts in caring for and educating the minor children, whether either spouse’s education or career has been interrupted during the marriage, the income of the spouses and whether it is in the best interests of the minor children to remain in the marital residence.

Vari & Associates, LLC.

The foregoing legal guide was published to inform and not advise readers about Florida family laws. The guide was authored by Attorney Lisa Marie Vari of the Miami, FL family law firm of Vari & Associates, LLC.

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