Only a court can establish your paternity. If a father wants to see his child on a consistent basis, he must establish his paternity. In our experience, fathers often originally agree with their child’s mother regarding visitation and can come to some sort of arrangement. When the arrangement no longer works or the mother changes her mind, a father has no legal right to see the child unless he has legally established his paternity. Until you establish your paternity with the court, the mother gets to decide if you can spend any time with your child. If you want any say in your child’s life, it is very important that you establish your paternity legally. After you establish your paternity, you will have child support obligations and can come up with a reasonable visitation schedule.
Do You Really Find That A Lot Of People Are Surprised When It Comes To How Paternity Is Actually Established?
Yes, many people are surprised regarding how paternity is established. Even if a father has a verbal or written agreement with the child’s mother, he has no rights until a court adjudicates his paternity.
Even On A Birth Certificate, Is That Enough To Say I Am Or I’m Not The Father?
It is not enough. In some cases, a mother will add someone’s name to the child’s birth certificate. Unless you are married to the child’s mother, there is no legal presumption that you are the child’s father. You need an order from the court.
As A Potential, Biological Father, Can I Demand A Court Ordered Paternity Test?
Yes, it is one way to prove your paternity.
Do You Represent Potential Fathers On Both Sides Of That Where They Don’t Believe That They’re The Biological Parents As Well As Those That Want To Establish That They Are A Biological Parent? What Is The Process On Both Sides?
Yes, you can disestablish paternity as well. Examples might include when a mother adds someone to a child’s birth certificate without their knowledge, or when a husband does not believe he is the biological father of a child born during the marriage. People have claimed children that are not biologically their own for child support purposes and then had to disestablish paternity as a result.
If A Biological Father Wishes To Relinquish Parental Rights, Is He Able To Do So And What Is The Process?
If a father wants someone else to be able to adopt his biological child, he must first terminate all of his own parental rights. That means he will no longer have any right to see the child or make any decisions regarding that child’s upbringing. Only the mother or new adoptive parent will have any rights or decision-making power regarding the child. The termination of parental rights is referred to as the “death penalty of family law” among family lawyers.
If you ever desire a future relationship with your child, you will need to consider the fact that your child will know you voluntarily chose not to be their parent anymore.
Once Paternity Is Established For A Father, Does That Automatically Give Him Any Custodial Rights To The Child?
You still have to go through the court process, as nothing is ever automatic. You will have to go in front of a court to establish a timesharing schedule. The law provides fathers and mothers with equal rights to the child, and assumes it is in the child’s best interest to have significant time with both parents unless proven otherwise. If the father or mother works full time or has a very demanding job that won’t allow him or her to exercise equal time sharing with the child, the court might provide a timesharing schedule that provides more time to the parent with the more flexible schedule. Ultimately, the legal presumption is that each parent will have equal timesharing with the child (fifty-fifty).
For more information on Paternity Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 815-8889 today.
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