Paternity Rights Lawyers

Establishing Paternity in Sarasota, FL

For unmarried parents, establishing paternity can be a difficult process. Just because a father’s name is on a child’s birth certificate or even if the mother has declared the father to be the biological father of the child, it may not always be completely clear to a court of law. In many cases, proving paternity is necessary to show that a parent is the biological father of a child, which provides the opportunity for inclusion within parenting plans and child custody arrangements. The attorneys with our Sarasota family law firm can provide you with experienced legal counsel regarding all facets of family law in the State of Florida.

What Is Paternity Establishment In Florida?

The establishment of paternity refers to the legal process of determining a child’s legal father. Under Florida law, when a child is born to unmarried parents, the mother is presumed by Florida courts to have full custody and visitation rights to the child and the child has no legal father. The father must initiate a court proceeding to establish paternity if he wishes to seek custody or visitation rights. It is then the mother’s responsibility to initiate a court proceeding to establish paternity if she wishes to obtain a child support order. An experienced divorce attorney with our firm can help you and your family understand your paternity rights and privileges by law. Schedule a consultation today.

How Is Paternity Established?

There are a number of ways in which unmarried parents may file to establish paternity in the State of Florida. Both parties can sign a document called a paternal statement, or an acknowledgment of paternity, either at the time of birth within the hospital or at a later date in the same location. This method, however, does not fully guarantee the legal paternity of a father. The most effective method to establish paternity in a court of law is through a paternity judgment before a family court judge. For more information on methods for establishing legal paternity in Florida, contact our firm. We can also aid in the following aspects of paternity cases.

Who Can File For Paternity Rights?

Either parent of a child may file a petition to establish paternity in Florida, as well as any individual who believes that they are the father of a child. A putative father, or a person who has not established legal paternity but claims biological rights to the child, must gain the support or cooperation of the child’s mother to file a petition to establish paternity. Contact our family law attorneys today for more information and to discuss your Florida paternity case.

Paternity & Child Support

According to Florida law, paternity establishment typically includes court-orders of child support, as the process of establishing paternity rights is interdependent with child support. The courts may retroactively order the payment of up to two years child support by the individual filing for paternity to the primary custodian of the child. In certain cases, the Department of Revenue may file an order for child support without visitation and time-sharing benefits.