In a big step forward for Florida paternity cases, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that biological fathers should be allowed contact with children born to a woman married to someone else.
In the past, “illegitimate children” were taboo and reliable paternity tests were years away so it was decided that the woman’s husband should be declared the legal father and the biological father blocked from their children’s life. Even when the biological father tried to stay involved, through child support and a general concern for the child’s well being, did not mean they had any rights to that child.
A recent Broward County case has brought this out-of-date law into the spotlight. The father in the case had been involved since the child was born but when he requested to be declared the child’s father and given visitation the family was hesitant and the courts originally ruled in favor of the antiquated law, cutting the biological father out of his child’s life. The father appealed and the Florida High Court has ruled in favor of the biological father, giving him the rights to be involved in their child’s life and upbringing.
While not all cases are the same, this ruling means men should be eligible to have the legal right to the children, whether the mother is married or not. If you are concerned about your paternity rights, contact LaFrance Family Law to discover how we can help you gain and maintain your paternity rights.