What is a “men’s divorce” attorney? Men’s divorce consists of representing men in divorce proceedings. Although it should not come as a surprise that men and women share the same inherent rights when going through a traditional divorce (such as the division of marital property, assets, and time sharing of children), men have to be aware of two distinct areas of the law that can affect them.
First, if a child is born out of wedlock in the State of Florida (meaning you were not married to your mother’s child when the child was born), you are not the father according to the laws of Florida. In fact, it may come as a surprise to you, but you possess virtually no rights related to the care of the kid.
Of course, this may never be an issue if you maintain a relationship with your child’s mother. However, when the relationship breaks down it is a tough pill to swallow to find out that you do not have rights to your child.
Florida – of course – has a mechanism to establish paternity for a child and father. It could be as simple as your wife filing an affidavit with the state. However, if it is contested, you will need to seek the assistance of a court to determine paternity.
In doing so, you will be required to pay child support from the date of birth for the child. Assuming that you are already providing for the child and have been a good father, that won’t be an issue. However, if the support that you have paid towards your child is not well documented, it could result in large child support arrearages.
It is important to establish paternity early on after your child is born, and to do everything you can to 1) support your child and 2) avoid an inequitable award of arrearages.
This leads to the second part of “men’s rights.” In the above type of case, sometimes a mother will seek to have child support established through the Department of Revenue. When this happens, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately, as there are certain procedural requirements and deadlines that if not compiled with can result in an order being entered against you. Although child support can be modified, it is difficult to modify past-due child support. Because of this, it is in your best interest to get the proper amount of child support determined at the outset.
The attorneys at Fairway Law Group are here to help guide you through your paternity and child-support case.