Typically, men are often too intimidated to file for divorce because they are under the impression that their wives will automatically have the upperhand in court. This is a myth perpetuated by the media and other sources. The truth is that men have the same rights as women when it comes to divorce. It is important to be aware and informed of the rights you have as a man or father while you work with your divorce attorney to reach a settlement and finalize your divorce in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
You Have A Right To Ask For – And Be Granted – A Divorce
In Florida, the legal term for divorce is dissolution of marriage. Therefore, in order to terminate a marriage, you must petition for dissolution of marriage. Florida is also a no fault divorce state. This means that you do not have to provide any reason or prove your spouse committed any fault in order to petition for dissolution of marriage. You have the right to petition for and be granted dissolution of marriage at any time by simply stating that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
However, it is important to remember that even though there will be no “fault” assigned in the proceedings, the judge who handles your case may consider your actions during the marriage or separation when making judgements on certain aspects, such as whether you will have to pay alimony, how much of the assets and debts you will be granted, or whether you will get custody of your children. Your divorce attorney will work to help ensure a fair outcome no matter your past, and put you in the best position to move forward into your future.
You Have The Right To Continue Living In The Family Home Throughout Divorce Proceedings
Your spouse does not have the right to kick you out of your house, change the locks, or keep you from entering your house without a court order. While they may make a request for temporary use of the home if there is an overabundance of arguing or conflict between the two of you – especially if there are children present – this would have to be granted by a judge. In addition, this will have no bearing of the final ruling when it comes to ownership of the house following the finalization of the divorce.
That being said, if you choose to leave the marital home, this could be used to the advantage of your spouse. If ownership of the house does eventually turn into a point of contention, the fact that you voluntarily left may not bode well for your case. This also leaves your spouse in a position of authority over when you are allowed to see your children. If you are unsure of whether leaving the house is the right move or not, contact an experienced divorce attorney for guidance.
You Have The Right To Equality When It Comes To Custody And Visitation Considerations
Having legal custody of your child means that you have an active role in your child’s life, and make decisions for them that affect their upbringing and daily routine. This includes their education, medical care, religion, and more. Whether you are seeking joint or sole custody of your children, you have the right to be considered equally.
Visitation is different from custody. Having visitation rights does not allow you to make major decisions regarding your child’s upbringing, or allow for your child to live with you long-term. They will be able to stay with you overnight, on the weekend, or for longer visits, though. You have the right to be considered for the visitation schedule you are asking for in order to remain present and active in your child’s life.
The judge will take the child’s best interest into consideration, so you and your divorce attorney should be prepared to present evidence as to why the joint/sole custody or visitation you are seeking is aligned with that.
You Have The Right To Claim Alimony And Child Support
One of the most profound misconceptions regarding men and divorce is that they are always the ones forced to pay child support or alimony. The reality is that many factors will be considered before the judge makes a decision as to who should pay the other and what amount it will be. For alimony, some considerations will be the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the length of time one spouse would need to receive payments until they can provide for themselves.
When it comes to child support, both parents have a financial obligation to their children, but one may be in a better position for this than the other. In this case, to determine if they should receive payment from the child’s other parent, the judge will likely consider the income of each parent, the custody arrangements they have agreed on (or have been ordered by the court), and the amount of children each parent will be supporting additionally.
Men are traditionally painted as the breadwinners of the family and the “backup” parent to the mother, but in today’s age, the dynamics of each family are unique and must be taken into account. You have the right to seek alimony and/or child support payments from your former spouse. Your divorce attorney can help you gather evidence and present reasoning to the judge which can put you in the best position for one of both payments to be granted.
Our Men’s Divorce Law Firm Fights For Your Rights
At the Men’s Divorce Law Firm, our priority is to ensure your rights are preserved and protected through divorce or other family law matters. We have been aggressively representing husbands and fathers in Orlando and the surrounding areas for over 18 years, so you can trust that our advice comes from experience. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the efforts we put forth to ensure an outcome that is satisfying to you.