Child custody, visitation, and the impact of a father's presence

When it comes to child custody, the law tends to favor a child's mother. For example, custody is presumed to lie with a child's mother when that child is born out of wedlock. But even married men can feel at a disadvantage when they seek child custody or visitation rights during the divorce settlement process. As discouraging as that may be, fathers in Florida should think about aggressively pursuing their legal rights, as doing so may lead to better outcomes for their children.

The benefits of a father's involvement on a child's life are enormous. Children with engaged fathers are less likely to participate in risky behaviors and wind up in jail. These kids also have increased chances of landing a higher-paying job and securing healthy relationships of their own. Children with active fathers in their lives are even more likely to have higher IQ scores than children who have absent fathers. They are also less likely to face psychological problems later in life.

Being an engaged father isn't always about desire, though. Sometimes men who want to build a strong, ongoing relationship with their children are simply blocked from doing so by their children's mothers. These disputes often lead to the courtroom, where a judge may have to decide what sort of child custody and visitation arrangement furthers a child's best interests if the parties can't come to an agreement on their own.

Dealing with child custody and co-parenting issues can be tough for Floridians. After all, there's a lot at stake, and the thought of negatively impacting one's relationship with his or her child can be heart wrenching. To avoid such an outcome, Floridians who are facing these legal issues may want to consider reaching out to a family law attorney who can help them develop a legal strategy that suits their and their children's best interests.

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