The law defines child paternity as the legal recognition of a man's relationship as the biological parent of a child. Child paternity disputes are raised when there is doubt regarding if a specific man is the biological father of a child, or children.
The request to prove or dispute paternity may be initiated by either the man or the woman. Determining paternity is often sought when during the course of a marriage or relationship infidelity is suspected or discovered, or in the aftermath of a brief sexual encounter between the man and woman.
Determining or validating the paternity of a child is important because any issue regarding the upbringing and support of a child will be directly impacted by the result. Additionally, a paternity results will also relieve a man who is not the biological father from being held financially for a child which is not their own.
In the event the child is born out of wedlock, determining paternity is the only way to legally establish a man as the biological father. In today's age of DNA, simply listing a man’s name on the birth certificate is not legally binding for parental rights or support.
After the paternity of a child has been properly determined, all child related issues may be addressed with the biological father as they relate to the marriage, during the course of a divorce, separation, break-up, or out of wedlock parental responsibility.
Many of these issues involve: the primary residence of the child (or children); parental time sharing, visitation rights, and schedules; child support; parental responsibility and decision making; standards for parental conduct and how both parents act toward each other & the children; responsibility or funding for child development programs, daycare, after-school programs, medical care, and college funds; grounds for parenting plan modifications; or any other issue which either parent believes needs to be specifically addressed for the best interest of the child.
When it comes to child paternity or other marital & family law legal needs, Robert S. Sigman, P.A., has the experience and resources to effectively guide you through the legal process.
In the State of Florida, a man becomes a legally recognized father in one of two ways; through marriage to the mother prior to the birth of the child or through a Paternity Order from the Court. In cases of divorce, the husband is presumed to be the father of the children of the marriage. This presumption is rebuttable, which means that the assumption of a husband's fatherhood can be overcome by evidence that the husband is not the father and if it is in the best interest of the child.
Florida Law does not discriminate between the rights of legally recognized fathers and mothers, but rather seeks to promote happy and healthy children by giving children meaningful contact and time with both parents.
RIGHTS OBTAINED AFTER AN ORDER OF PATERNITy:
Once the biological father of a child has been determined through paternity testing, he obtains certain legal rights. Father's rights in Florida are fully protected under state law. In most cases, if you are declared the legal father of a child, you have the right to have your name added to the child's Birth Certificate.
If you are involved in a paternity dispute in Orlando, Maitland, or the Central Florida area, and you need advice regarding child paternity or other family law issues, you need a qualified Florida divorce attorney. Please call our office at (407) 831-0012 for a free, confidential consultation.