Children thrive when their father is an active participant in their life. Establishing paternity identifies the legal father and can provide shared rights regarding children with the mother.
How is Paternity Established in Florida?
A child born to married parents is assumed to be the husband’s legal child. Children born to an unwed mother can have paternity established in two ways: voluntarily at the birth of the child or at any point until they turn 18. If unwed parents marry after the birth of their child, paternity can easily be established when applying for a Florida marriage license.
If paternity has not been established in any of these ways, it can be established through the use of a legal order. Filing a civil action in circuit court is required to request the state of Florida to step in and assist with determining paternity. Once filed, the Florida courts will decide if the paternity request can be resolved with or without a judge’s intervention.
What does Paternity Establish?
After the dust settles on a paternity hearing, a paternity proceeding can establish the following:
• Parental rights (paternity rights) to a child born outside marriage
• Parental Responsibility for decisions affecting the child
• Time Sharing (visitation)
• Parenting Plan
• Child Support
Disestablishment of Paternity
Yes, the disestablishment of paternity is also possible under certain circumstances. The following facts can lead to the disestablishment of paternity in the state of Florida:
• Newly discovered evidence
• DNA test
• The payor has not adopted the child
• Paternity not acknowledged by a sworn statement
Partner with LaFrance Family Law
Whether you are looking to establish paternity rights for yourself as the father or are advocating for you children’s future, the staff at LaFrance Law are experienced Florida paternity rights lawyers that can and will help you in your time of need. Contact us using the form to the right or give us a call at (813) 930-5542 for a free consultation.