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When paternity rights help fathers get more fathering time

Florida law regarding families and child custody are centered around the well-being of children, who are often less able to realize their wishes when parents are busy keeping their affairs together. In order to have the best possible life, children need happy and effective parents.

Florida has several avenues for biological and adoptive parents to claim their legal rights and responsibilities. Although many fathers would claim these rights in a divorce or to legally verify their parenthood, another reason fathers may seek a legal confirmation of their parenthood is to provide child care through paternity leave.

Fathers taking time off work to ensure a safe and happy environment for children may be a relatively new concept, but it has been proven to be very important for the best interests of children.

The federal labor law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) covers about half of American workers and guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid paternity leave. Some states, such as California and New Jersey, offer guarantees for paid paternity leave up to a certain limit, but Florida is not yet one of these states.

An employee must have worked for over 12 months for a public or private employer with more than 50 employees to qualify for FMLA paternity leave. Other restrictions may apply, so fathers filing for paternity leave may wish to consult an attorney.

Fathers' rights are an important element to a father being a productive and positive part of a child's life. Challenges to these rights and responsibilities can be overcome with the right tools and resources.

Source: FindLaw, "Paternity Leave," accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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