Florida Paternity Determinations
Before divorce and cohabitation outside of marriage were as prevalent as they are today, paternity was not much of an issue. Generally, when a married mother gives birth to a child, the husband is presumed to be the father. Paternity can become an issue when an unmarried mother gives birth – the child has rights and benefits related to paternity, and determining who that child’s father is necessary to ensure the child receives those benefits.
Our Tampa law firm can help you take legal action to establish paternity or protect your rights and the rights of your child in a lawsuit.
DNA testing can be a means of determining paternity without a court order. Genetic testing consists of swabbing inside the cheek of the alleged father to collect cell tissue and then comparing the cell tissue to samples taken from the mother and the child.
A qualified laboratory technician analyzes the samples and determines the probability of a genetic relationship. Once certified, the DNA test results are adequate for an administrative order that establishes paternity.
However, if the alleged father does not consent to having a DNA test done, an attorney can petition the court for paternity proceedings. When the court hears a case, the judge often orders an alleged father to undergo DNA testing, and afterward the judge issues a court order that either affirms or denies the man’s paternity based on the test outcome. Such paternity orders are judicial instead of administrative orders.
Reasons for establishing paternity
There are many reasons to establish paternity:
- To obtain child support from the alleged father
- To gain visitation or custody rights to a child
- To obtain health insurance from the father
- To receive benefits from a life insurance policy
- To establish parentage in an inheritance
- To obtain Social Security, military or veterans benefits
- For children to discover the identity of their father
- To obtain family medical history information
- To obtain the right to make legal decisions about the child
- To add the father’s name to a birth certificate
When both parents consent, acknowledgement of paternity and legitimation are two other ways of establishing paternity. If you want to establish paternity or face a divorce and need trusted legal advice, please contact us to arrange an appointment with our paternity lawyer.
Questions? Contact Us For Answers.
Our attorneys have significant experience with paternity cases. Seeking the advice of our experienced paternity and family law attorneys who are skilled in the paternity process and representation is essential to protect yourself.