FLORIDA PATERNITY MATTERS (PART 2) #tampadivorcelawyer

Florida Paternity Matters

THIS CHILD IS MINE—Florida Child Paternity Matters

WHAT DO YOU DO IF you have a child with your girlfriend and you co-parent successfully until one day she decides you may no longer see the child or she makes important parenting decisions you disagree with or she informs you that she is moving out-of-state with the child.

First, and this goes without saying, do not delay in taking action. It is critical that you understand how Florida law is relevant to your right to see and make decisions about your child and your obligation to take care of that child. In Florida, the mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child. To obtain your rights to visitation/custody/time-sharing and other parental privileges you must first establish your paternity. “Paternity” is legal versus biological fatherhood. Until a biological father establishes his paternity, he has no rights and/or obligations to the child. As discussed in detail in Part 1 of this series, if you are the father and you have not established your legal parental rights, you can establish your paternity through an Administrative Paternity Order or a Judicial Paternity Order if you did not sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity when the child was born. Beware, the Administrative Paternity Order and the Acknowledgement of Paternity DO NOT establish or set forth your time-sharing or other parental privileges.

When paternity is established through a Judicial Paternity Order from a circuit court judge, the court has the jurisdiction to establish your time-sharing and other parental privileges at the same time. The circuit court also has the jurisdiction to hear and make decisions on time-sharing, relocation of the child and other parental privileges if paternity has already been established through an Acknowledgement of Paternity or an Administrative Paternity Order. If you father a child out of wedlock, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to inquire about filing a petition in circuit court to establish your paternity if necessary and establish your parental rights and obligations. A lawyer can assist you with a petition to establish paternity, time-sharing, parental responsibility and/or another related reliefs.

The practice of family law includes handling paternity issues for clients including claims of fatherhood, child support, time-sharing and/or decision-making. LaFrance Law P.A. is experienced and skilled at protecting and asserting your parental rights. Please call attorney Shannon LaFrance for a free phone consultation at (813) 930-5542 if you have questions concerning these or any other paternity or family law issues.