At LaFrance Family Law, we understand that divorce is never easy. Things get even more difficult when children are involved. It’s our job to help you understand how paternity is established in Florida, and what sharing paternity rights means for you.
Establishing paternity identifies the legal father and sets up a support system for your child to make sure their wellbeing doesn’t change following the finalization of divorce. Read on to see what this all entails and how we at LaFrance Law can help you throughout these intricate processes.
How do you Establish Paternity 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 the child turns 18
- If unmarried 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. Though not required, we highly recommend hiring an experienced paternity lawyer to help you through the legal process.
What Does Establishing Paternity Mean?
Once a paternity hearing has concluded, a paternity proceeding will begin to establish the following:
- Parental rights (or paternity rights) to a child born outside marriage
- Parental responsibility for decisions affecting the child and their future
- Planning out time-sharing, or child custody
- Establishing a parenting plan that works for all parties involved
- Child Support
Paternity hearings and proceedings can be taxing and stressful to navigate, especially with a looming divorce. LaFrance Family Law is here to help with any questions you may have regarding these processes.
Do you need a Lawyer to Establish Paternity in Tampa?
Legally, you are not required to hire an aternity to establish paternal rights. However, paternity cases can be extremely confusing and emotionally taxing, so it is recommended that you hire an expert to help you through the process.
Here at LaFrance Law, you’re more than just a client. We pride ourselves on treating every client like family. We understand that divorce is hard, and even harder when child custody is involved. Our experienced Tampa paternity rights lawyers are here to make the legal roads easier for you to navigate.