Florida Paternity Lawyer
Establishing paternity is important for non-married parents. It is used to determine who has the right to seek custody and parenting time, inheritance rights, and child support obligations. While the mother of a given child is typically known by default, the identity of the father is not always so clear-cut. A child of a marriage is presumed to be related to the mother’s spouse, but what happens when the parents are not married?
If you are seeking to establish or contest paternity, whether you are the mother, the putative father, or another man claiming to be the biological father, you need effective legal assistance to protect your rights. The experienced paternity lawyers at the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. are ready to help you fight for your rights and your family.
How is Paternity Established?
There are a number of ways paternity can be established in Florida. The typical way paternity is established is through the “marital presumption”–if a child is born to a married couple, then the mother’s spouse is presumed to be the father. The father can be added to the birth certificate without further action needed in the Courts.
If a child is not the product of a marriage, then paternity must be established some other way. If the parents both agree on the identity of the father, they can both sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form to be filed with the county clerk. This can typically be accomplished at the birth hospital or afterward at the county clerk’s office. A couple can also get married shortly after a child is born and provide an updated birth record to establish paternity.
If paternity is contested, however, then paternity will need to be established through the Courts. The Court will entertain evidence of a party’s paternity. Often, the Court will Order genetic testing to determine the true identity of the child’s father. An order establishing paternity can be requested by the mother, a man claiming to be the child’s father, a legal representative of the child, or Florida’s Department of Revenue. If a mother seeks to have a certain man declared the father, and the alleged father refuses to participate in the legal proceedings, the Court might decide to declare the man the child’s father by default. If you are trying to establish paternity, a knowledgeable Florida paternity lawyer can walk you through your options and the type of evidence you will need to support your claim.
Paternity petitions may be used to establish paternity, but they may also be used to contest paternity in some limited situations. An action to declare someone is not the father is known as the disestablishment of paternity. Disestablishment of paternity is typically used when a man has been declared the legal father and is subject to or may be subject to child support, but he has reason to believe he is not the biological father. Disestablishment of paternity can be used to relieve the putative father of his child support obligations. Typically, the man will need to submit an affidavit attesting that he is not the father along with genetic test results proving he is not the father and proof he is current in his child support. A man who has legally adopted the child cannot, however, contest paternity in this manner.
Experienced Florida Paternity Lawyers Fighting for Your Parental Rights
If you are seeking to establish or contest paternity, you need a seasoned legal advocate on your team. The dedicated Florida paternity legal team at the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. has more than 60 years of combined experience helping Florida family law clients get the results they deserve. For help fighting for your paternal rights and your family in Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, or statewide, call the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. at 561-688-5006 today!