Florida Family Law FAQs

Who has custody of a child born out of wedlock?

December 25, 2023 in Child Custody and Time-Sharing, Paternity Actions

When a child is born out of wedlock in Florida, the mother is generally presumed to have sole custody of the child. This means she has legal rights to make decisions regarding the child’s welfare, including healthcare, education, and other important aspects of their life. The father does not automatically have legal rights to custody or time-sharing (visitation) until he establishes his legal status as the father.

For a father to gain custody or visitation rights, he typically needs to establish paternity legally. This can be done either by both parents signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or through a court order. Once paternity is established, the father can seek custody or visitation rights, and the court will make decisions based on the child’s best interests.

The process of determining custody and visitation for a child born out of wedlock is similar to that for a child born within a marriage, with the court considering various factors to ensure that any custody arrangement serves the child’s welfare and development. It’s important to remember that the primary focus of the court in these matters is always the best interests of the child, regardless of the parents’ marital status.

If you have further questions or need personalized advice on child custody matters for children born out of wedlock in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact us. Reach out to Shemtov Hillstrom at (954) 329-2222 to set up a consultation with our experienced trial attorneys. We’re here to guide you through the complexities of custody rights and ensure the best outcome for your child’s welfare and development.

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