A Florida man is struggling to regain custody of his son by challenging a state law that he sees as unfair. The man is the biological father of the boy whose mother was married to someone else at the time of his birth. Under Florida law, child custody rules name the husband as the child's "father," even if he is not biologically related. This is the second father to recently speak out about these shortcomings in the Florida law, which unfairly prioritizes those children who are considered born in "legitimate" relationships, according to the man's attorneys.
Now, the child's mother is rejecting the biological father's petition for paternity. She apparently acknowledges that the man is indeed the child's biological father, but she says that her husband has agreed to accept responsibility for the boy and raise him as his own. Although it seems inherently unfair that the biological father is prevented from claiming his son, the procedure is no different than a child born between two people who are unmarried - the fathers in those cases must also file a paternity petition in order to be recognized.
The father is seeking visitation rights and child custody permission from the court. The boy, who is now almost 3 years old, has not seen his biological father for several months. Now, the biological father says he will continue to fight for his son, even though the legal deck seems to be stacked against him.
In this type of unusual case, parents deserve visitation rights with their children, but the legal structure does not always accommodate these rights. A family attorney can provide an additional measure of support to fight the custodial parent who is unfairly denying access.
Source: WPTV, "Port St. Lucie father challenging Florida law for paternal rights, mother is rejecting petition," Michelle Quesada, Feb. 10, 2017