Men's Rights in Custody Battles of Children in Broward County, Florida
Fathers' Rights Under Florida Law
- The Broward County court, as with all family law courts in the state, must adhere to the child custody statutes enacted by the state legislature. In Florida, custodial battles turn on the judge's determination of the "best interests of the child," based on a variety of factors written in state law. An unmarried father in Broward County may need to establish paternity of his children, by submitting a claim to the Florida Putative Father Registry, before he can open a custody case or object to a child's adoption.
Broward County Courthouse Resources
- Men with questions regarding their custodial rights in Broward County can find resources directly provided by the county court. They can also access family law forms for custody cases through the Florida State Courts website at FLCourts.org. Additionally, the Broward County Courthouse operates a Family Law Self-Help Center for family law litigants who need help with their court forms.
Legal Help in Broward County
- Fathers who have questions regarding their custodial rights or who would like the assistance of a lawyer in court proceedings may be able to obtain legal aid from organizations in Broward County. For example, Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida provides legal help to eligible clients through its Family Law unit, which includes custody litigation. Though Coast to Coast primarily focuses on legal aid for clients in domestic violence cases, the organization may be able to provide additional referrals to other local organizations that serve fathers in Broward County.
Advocacy and Support Groups
- Fathers facing custody battles in Broward County can also seek information from advocacy or support groups. For example, Parents Without Rights, an advocacy organization, engages in legislative work to promote fathers' rights in Florida and across the United States. The organization may also be able to direct Broward County residents to local resources by way of the organization's online discussion group.
Rights of Fathers in Prison
- Florida men who are currently incarcerated often have specific concerns related to custodial disputes. A Broward County father may seek to preserve his parental rights through several types of legal arrangements to cover the period of incarceration as allowed under Florida law. Arrangements, such as an "Informal Arrangement with a Statement of Guardianship" order of temporary custody or formal guardianship, provide a caregiver with legal rights during a parent's incarceration but do not permanently end the parent's rights in Broward County court. However, the father should understand the legal consequences of each arrangement and likelihood of regaining custody at the end of his incarceration.