Establishment of Paternity in Sarasota or Bradenton

According to research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and National Kids Count, the number of children living in single parent households in the United States has increased by almost two million since 2008. While the vast majority of those who qualify as single parents are mothers, almost 20% are Fathers.

These national statistics are mirrored in the State of Florida, and properly establishing formal paternity in the Sarasota and Bradenton is becoming more important than ever.

Like most Sarasota Family Law issues, the concepts are simple, but the details can be ovewhelming, so we'll start with the basics.

Before a Father can be required to pay child support, and before he can formally demand his time-sharing or visitation, his paternity must be established "by law". Having a Father's name on the birth certificate alone is not sufficient to establish paternity for time-sharing or child support purposes!

Paternity is established in Sarasota Family Courts by filing something called a "Petition to Establish Paternity". This Petition lets the Court know that either the Mother or the Father is seeking to establish the Paternity of the minor child. The Petition must provide the Court with certain information, including the type of relationship the Mother and Father were in, that the Father is the biological Father of the minor child, and, as awkward as it may be, the likely dates of conception.

Along with the request to establish paternity, the person filing the Petition usually requests that a time-sharing schedule be established, which clearly outlines which parent gets to spend time with the child on what days. Child support is another common request under a Petition to Establish Paternity in Sarasota or Bradenton.

The Court can hear all, or some of these issues at the same time, and as with almost any Family Law or Divorce pleading, the parties can agree to some, or all of the requests contained in the Petition.

The Florida Petition to Establish Paternity has to be served upon the other parent like any other lawsuit, and the Florida Rules of Family Procedure, and Florida Rules of Civil Procedure apply.

Once the Petition is served, and the answer from the other parent is recieved, the procedure starts moving forward towards your first, and potentially final court date. Depending on whether or not paternity is contested, the focus of the case is typically on the amount of child support to be paid, and the time-sharing schedules of each parent.

Florida Petitions to Establish Paternity can be resolved using a Family Law Mediator, thusly avoiding the expense and risk of trial, or, if an agreement can't be reached, your Sarasota Paternity Attorney can make sure that you get the best possible result at trial.

Our Sarasota Family Attorneys have handled hundreds of Florida Petitions to Establish Paternity, establishing and protecting the rights of Men and Women. We understand the importance of safeguarding the client's interests, whether that means that a parent recieves enough support, or establishing a time-sharing and visitation schedule that is fair, but protects the children, and the rights of both parents.

If you have questions about establishing paternity in Florida, in either Sarasota or Manatee counties, call one of our family attorneys today at (941) 404-8908.