When a married mother gives birth to a child, it is presumed that the husband is the father of that child. However, nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common for children to be born out of wedlock, bringing the question of paternity into focus. Establishing paternity is essential for all parties involved. For the mother, it means she can receive child support. For the father, it means he can secure visitation rights.
Involuntary Paternity Determination
In some cases, a father may not want to establish paternity. Under Florida law, however, paternity can be established regardless of the wishes of the father, which is known as involuntary paternity determination. When a mother seeks to establish the paternity of her child, that party must appear in court and, if he is unwilling to assume paternity, a judge or magistrate may order a DNA test. If paternity is confirmed through DNA testing, the court may order child support payments.
If paternity is established during involuntary paternity determination, you will not necessarily be entitled to time-sharing with your child. If you wish to seek parental rights, you will need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process.
The Rights of Unmarried Fathers in Florida
Family law courts in Florida generally disapprove of terminating a parent’s rights and believe the involvement of both parents is in the best interests of a child. After paternity is established, you can claim your rights as a father, which will likely include not only time-sharing, but the ability to make decisions regarding your child’s education, healthcare, religion, and housing situation. In Florida, family courts tend to favor arrangements in which parents can spend an equal amount of time with their children.
Reach Out to Our Knowledgeable Family Law Team for a Consultation Today!
If you are a mother who is seeking to establish paternity of your child or a father who is seeking parental rights, the compassionate legal team at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. can provide the skilled representation and advice you need to obtain the results you deserve. With more than 80 years of collective experience and a history of successful results, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands when you choose to work with us.
Call our law office today at (800) 822-5170 to schedule a consultation with a member of our team to get started on your case.