Establishing paternity leads to equal time-sharing and parental responsibility, among many other benefits to the parents and the child. If you have questions about how to establish paternity, our Hialeah paternity attorney has the answers.
When a baby is born in Florida, the child’s legal father is listed as the mother’s husband. However, in the cases of the 47% of Florida babies who are born to unwed mothers, paternity must be established for the father to gain paternal legal rights. Paternal rights have time-sharing and child support implications, and there are several paths to paternity that our Hialeah paternity attorney will address.
How Do You Establish Paternity?
In Florida, there are several ways you can establish paternity, including:
Marriage – If the mother and father are married at the time of the child’s birth, the father is the mother’s husband and holds all paternal rights.
Legitimation – If the mother and father are not married at the time of the child’s birth but marry after, the legal father will be the husband of the child’s mother. After the marriage, the parents will need to update the child’s birth record to include the legal father.
Court Order – When paternity has not been established, the mother can ask the paternity court to issue a court order to establish paternity. The order will detail time-sharing and parental responsibility.
Administrative Order Based On DNA Testing – Genetic testing can be used to establish paternity. To complete DNA testing, the father can send a sample to a lab, and once the test determines the child’s biological father, an administrative order can be issued to establish paternity.
Voluntary Acknowledgment Of Paternity – This method of establishing paternity requires the mother and father to complete and sign an Acknowledgement Of Paternity form.
How Long Does A Father Have To Establish Paternity?
The courts give fathers many years to establish paternity, primarily because many fathers only know about the child once he or she is much older. In Florida, the statute of limitations for establishing paternity lasts until the child is 22 years old, four years past the age of majority (18 years old).
What Are The Benefits Of Establishing Paternity?
Our Hialeah paternity attorney recommends that you establish paternity as soon possible to avoid problems that can arise down the road. There are also many benefits for the child when you become the child’s legal father, including:
- Time-sharing allows the father to form a bond with the child, which will help establish a life-long relationship.
- Medical records from both sides of the family are helpful to have in the case of a health concern.
- Financial and medical support from both parents gives the child a stronger foundation.
- Social Security and veterans benefits can also be established with paternity.
- And more.
What If Paternity Is Contested?
When paternity is questioned by the mother or father, the courts can require the father to submit to a DNA test. If the test results show a statistical probability of 95% or higher, there is a presumption of paternity, and the courts will file an administrative order establishing paternity.
Casais & Prias Is The Hialeah Paternity Attorney You Need
When you have questions about how to establish paternity or any other family law matters, we can help. Our founding partner, Nadja A. Prias, is the head of our firm’s family law department and has decades of legal experience that she will put to work for you. Contact us today to set up a free case evaluation. We look forward to answering any questions you have about paternal rights.