When the courts in Florida consider granting custody of one daughter to a father who is facing child abuse charges for acts against another daughter, you know that the conventions of divorce have changed. Once upon a time, it was a given that after a divorce the children would live with the mother. The father would visit at agreed-upon intervals. For better or worse, this style of custody division is no longer the norm.

With a rise in equality for fathers’ custody rights, some men may wonder if they can get full custody. There have been many changes in policy, culture and legal language that help ensure that the relationships between fathers and children are regarded with the same level of import as with mothers. While it is less likely for a judge to blindly award a mother full custody, it is also quite unlikely for either parent to receive full custody. As of the 2010 US Census, only one out of six custodial parents was the father.

Florida has some unique legal language surrounding custody. For example, you may hear the word timesharing instead of custody. This word is used on the principle that the best arrangement is the one that focuses on the best interests of the child. This usually involves active engagement by both parents in a joint custody agreement.

Generally, it’s difficult for a father to prove that the mother has done something that warrants loss of custody. With increased equality between parents, it follows logically that there is a decrease in sole custody arrangements. For full custody, it is not enough to be an excellent father. You must be able to prove that the mother is not able to care properly for the child.

Because each case is different, every decision regarding child custody is unique. Parents are encouraged to work together to create a parenting plan that outlines each partner’s responsibilities, rights and timesharing details. Maybe you are struggling to come to agreeable terms with an ex, or maybe you are concerned that timesharing is not in the best interests of your children.  When it comes to your children’s wellbeing, it’s important to understand your options by speaking with a lawyer who can help you assess your situation.