How To Establish Paternity in Florida

How To Establish Paternity in Florida

Posted By R. Gregory Colvin LLC || 9-Jul-2019

A child born to parents that are unwed doesn’t automatically have a legal father.

To legally establish paternity, the biological father must acknowledge his child either in writing or through an affidavit of parentage.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

Because there is a distinction between the biological father and the legal father of a child, the biological father must acknowledge his paternity of a child or children. In most cases, the father will do this voluntarily and with no disagreements. The father and mother will both sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity.

The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity gives the father the right to:

  • visit and develop a relationship with the child;
  • participate in raising the child;
  • provide support for the child’s needs; and
  • make important decisions regarding the child’s personal growth and well-being.

The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is final and legally binding 60 days after it is signed. Neither party can revoke or refuse to uphold the responsibilities of acknowledgment.

Administrative Orders and Genetic Testing

Things can become complicated if the biological father wasn’t married to the mother during the birth and refuses to take responsibility for the child. If this happens, the first thing the mother should do is consult an attorney with experience in paternity disputes.

After an attorney is hired, the mother needs to petition a court to:

  • open a paternity case against the alleged father; and
  • issue a request for the alleged father to participate in a DNA test.

The alleged father must comply with the request or he could face a court issued default judgment. This means that a judge can decide a person is the biological father without a paternity test. This can cause problems for an alleged father if he isn’t the true biological father because he will be responsible for the child until they turn 18.

Contact R. Gregory Colvin, LLC Today

If you are in the midst of a paternity dispute, contact our attorneys. We have over 25 years of experience and can help you win the results you seek.

Call our firm at (407) 603-3460 or contact us online for a case evaluation.

Categories: Paternity

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