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Founded in 1997 we are experienced and knowledgeable Tampa attorneys practicing exclusively in Divorce, Family, Stepparent/Relative Adoption, Criminal Defense, and Personal Bankruptcy. We practice primarily in the cities of Tampa, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lithia, Carrollwood, Northdale, North Tampa, Plant City as well as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Pasco County. We have offices conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay. Our lawyers have extensive experience practicing in contested and uncontested divorces, including military divorces, and family law, child support, child custody and visitation, relocation of children, alimony, domestic violence, distribution of assets and debts, retirement/pensions (military and private), enforcement and modification of final judgments, paternity actions, adoptions and name changes as well as criminal defense. We offer a free consultation to discuss your options. Please call us at 813-672-1900 or email us at info@familymaritallaw.com to schedule a consultation. Our representation of our clients reflects our dedication to them. We look forwarding to hearing from you! Se habla EspaƱol.
Showing posts with label tampa paternity attorney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tampa paternity attorney. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How Do I Establish Paternity in Florida?

Paternity in Florida is becoming a bigger issue, as more and more couples decide to start a relationship, perhaps even live together, and have a child. Although this situation works for many, from a legal standpoint it can bring some complications. This is particularly true if the two people ever break up. In this instance, paternity may have to be established in order for the father to have access to his child, or so the mother can hold the father liable for paying child support. When either of these are the case, how can a parent establish paternity in Florida?

Voluntary Acknowledgement
In the best of circumstances, there is no disagreement regarding the paternity of a child. When this is the case, the mother and father can agree to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. After both parties have signed this document, it becomes legally binding 60 days later, providing the father with all the rights and obligations of parenthood. It is important that both parties understand, before signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity, that it is typically permanent and cannot be revoked.

Marriage or Legitimization
When a woman is married at the time of a child’s birth, her husband is considered to be the legal father of the child. Although this may sound traditional, it is not always. This type of legal paternity is still binding even if the man and woman were not married at the time of conception, and even if her husband is not the biological father of the child.
Paternity can also be established through marriage if a man and woman become married after a child is born. This is known as the process of legitimization. In order for a man to be considered the legal father though, he will have to go through a process known as legitimization.

Genetic Testing
If there is a dispute over paternity, the mother and the alleged father can undergo genetic testing through the Florida Department of Revenue. The Department will collect a swab from the mother, the alleged father, and the child. These swabs will contain each party’s DNA, which the Department will test to determine if there is a match between the child and the alleged father.  When a match is made, the Department of Revenue will send an Administrative Order of Paternity to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics to have the father’s name added to the birth certificate.

Although an administrative order gives the mother the right to collect child support, it does not guarantee the father any legal rights. To do that, the mother and father will have to go to court.

Paternity Actions in Court
Paternity actions are lawsuits filed with the court mainly when an alleged father wishes to have at least partial custody of a child, but the mother disputes his claims of paternity. These actions can be brought to court prior to the child’s birth, but a judge will not make a final decision until after the birth and after they can view evidence, such as genetic testing.
In some instances, a woman may file a paternity action with the court in order to claim child support. In this case, the man may receive a summons asking him to appear in court. If the man does not appear, the judge will likely enter a default judgment against him and find that the man is the legal father of the child and therefore, has all the rights and responsibilities of a parent.

Our Florida Lawyers can Help with Your Paternity Case
Establishing paternity in Florida can become quite complicated, particularly if two people are in a dispute over the issue. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa family law attorneys can help with your paternity dispute whether your are seeking an administrative order or a court order. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 to schedule your free consultation and financing available.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Paternity Claims Can Extend Beyond Death

Knowing who one’s parents are is a fact taken for granted by most children, but there is a distinct difference between being told a particular person is one’s mother or father, and whether the law recognizes this person as a parent. Any woman that gives birth to a child, not including surrogates, is automatically considered to be a child’s legal mother, and immediately receives full parental rights. Determining a child’s male parentage is not always so easy, and it may be necessary to establish paternitybefore a man can exercise any parental rights or be compelled to fulfill any parental obligations. Typically, paternity is established when a person is still a minor, but he/she can take action to legally confirm paternity as an adult. An unusual paternity case involving famed surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, was filed by a woman claiming to be his daughter through an affair with a domestic servant led a Spanish court to authorize an exhumation of the body so DNA testing can take place. Among other consequences, establishing paternity gives the child the right to inherit from the parent’s estate, and the Spanish woman claiming relation to Dali could receive one-fourth of his estate if paternity is confirmed. Florida has several methods of establishing paternity that range from an easy administrative process to potentially contentious litigation. A discussion of the difference between a biological father and a legal father, as well as an overview of the available procedures used to determine paternity, will follow below.
Biological vs. Legal Father
People tend to instinctively associate a person’s biological father as the father recognized by law. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. A legal father has the rights and responsibilities of parenthood, including custody rights and child support obligations, but this status is only conferred through marriage, adoption or court order. Thus, if a married woman fathers a child with a man who is not her husband, the law would view the husband as the legal father despite a lack of genetic connection.
Voluntary Acknowledgment
If a couple is unmarried, and there is no dispute over paternity, the state allows the couple to complete and file a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, which is commonly done at the hospital following childbirth. This acknowledgement becomes binding after 60 days, with an extremely limited ability to set it aside, and grants the man parental rights over the child. Given the permanent nature of these documents, fully considering the consequences before signing is extremely important.
As alluded to above, if a woman is married when the child is born, the husband is automatically considered the legal father, even if the couple was not married at conception. Further, if a couple has a child out of wedlock, it is possible to marry later and legitimize the paternity of the child if the man is the biological father.
Paternity Case
Finally, if there is disagreement or uncertainty over paternity, a court order will be necessary to settle the issue. The mother, the alleged father, and a representative acting on behalf of the child are all eligible to petition a court to determine paternity. A court can decide paternity based upon outside evidence, genetic testing or a combination of both. Evidence, other than genetic testing, offered to show paternity would relate to the nature of the parties’ relationship and any conduct by a party that tends to prove or disprove paternity. If a judge finds sufficient evidence that the alleged father should be declared the legal father, the man will gain the right to make decisions on the child’s upbringing and to seek parenting time. If paternity is not established, the man will have no right to have a say in the child’s, but will also be relieved of the responsibility of providing for the child’s needs.
Get Help
If you have questions or concerns about the paternity of a child, you need the advice of an experienced family law attorney regarding the best course of action to achieve your desired result. Tampa Bay’s All Family Law Group, P.A. can assist with drafting a parenting plan if an agreement is made, or take charge of representing your interests in family court.  Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
by Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

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