FLORIDA PATERNITY MATTERS (Part 1) #tampadivorcelawyer

Florida Paternity Matters


WHAT DO YOU DO IF a process server hands you a Notice of Proceeding to Establish Administrative Support Order.

First, and this goes without saying, do not delay in taking action. It is vital to understand how Florida law is relevant to your paternal rights and obligations. The Notice of Proceeding to Establish Administrative Support is prepared by the Florida Department of Revenue and is an attempt to have you pay child support. Beware of this administrative proceeding. The administrative tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to award you visitation/custody/time-sharing and other important parental rights. This tribunal can simply determine paternity and order you to pay support, meaning you could be left in a position where you have financial obligations, but no rights as it relates to visitation or custody.

To obtain your rights to visitation/custody/time-sharing and other parental privileges you must first establish your paternity. Paternity is defined as the “quality or state of being a father.” Paternity is legal fatherhood which is different from biological fatherhood. Until the biological father establishes his paternity, he has no rights and/or obligations to the child. A father who is married to the child’s mother when the child is born does not have to do anything to prove paternity. Paternity can also be established by

1) Signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity when the child is born – this is a legal document that is signed by the unwed mother and father. If the parents are able to complete it before they leave the hospital, they use a document called the Paternity Acknowledgement form DH-511. If it is completed after the hospital, the parents need to use a document called the Acknowledgement of Paternity form DH-432. Signing this document establishes paternity only and does not establish or set forth your time-sharing or other parental privileges.

2) An Administrative Paternity Order– this is an order issued by the Florida Department of Revenue which is based on a genetic test, and also does not require going to court. The mother, child, and man believed to be the father take a genetic test, and if the results prove paternity, an order is issued. This order does not establish or set forth your time-sharing or other parental privileges.

3) A Judicial Paternity Order – this is when paternity is established by a circuit court judge who issues a court order. You can also establish your time-sharing and other parental privileges through a Judicial Order in a circuit court.

If you are served with a Notice of Proceeding to Establish Administrative Support Order we recommend that you immediately contact an attorney to inquire about filing a petition in circuit court to establish BOTH your paternity and your parental rights and obligations as soon you receive the Notice. A lawyer can assist you with a petition to establish paternity, time-sharing, parental responsibility and other related relief.

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.