Do I Need a Florida Paternity Lawyer?
Florida paternity law’s main purpose is to establish the legal recognition fathers, provide support for children and further fathers’ relationships with their biological children. There may be several different reasons you are considering hiring a Tampa paternity lawyer. If you have a paternity-law related issue, it’s always best to speak with an experienced attorney to determine what the best course of action is.
Oftentimes, people need a paternity lawyer because the father refuses to prove he is or is not the father for fear of having to pay child support. In other cases where a couple is estranged, the mother may be withholding the child from their biological father or refusing to name him on the birth certificate. Here’s a brief introduction to paternity law in Florida and why retaining an experienced Florida attorney is warranted.
Why Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity is more than just trying to get someone to pay child support. The concept of paternity is really the foundation of legal fatherhood in the state. Fathers are granted numerous rights and benefits. Without proof of paternity, the father will lack parental rights and will not be able to exercise their paternal responsibilities unless the mother permits it. This essentially means that the father will have no custody rights, no visitation, and he will not be responsible for any child support.
How to Establish Paternity in Florida
There are several different methods of establishing paternity in Florida. The most obvious and straightforward way is when a couple is married. When a couple is married and the wife gives birth, her husband is presumed to be the biological father automatically. Neither side has to take any additional action to confirm who the father is. He will be added to the birth certificate automatically.
In situations where the mother and father are on good terms, but are not married, they can voluntarily agree on paternity. It does not have to be a difficult process. All they need to do is submit the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form. This can only be filed when both the mother and father agree. You cannot try to trick him or attempt to file the form on your own without his consent.
When people think about paternity law, the most common scenario that pops into people’s heads is having to hunt down a deadbeat dad. This would fall under the disputed paternity category. Disputed paternity cases don’t have to drag out endlessly in court either. They can be resolved by undergoing a genetic test to determine whether or not the suspected father is indeed the father of the child.
In the event the matter cannot be resolved, then you may find it necessary to file a Florida paternity suit.
How a Tampa Paternity Lawyer Can Help
We know how complicated and sensitive paternity matters can be. If you are in the middle of a paternity dispute, you need an experienced attorney who can help. Contact Faulkner Law Group, PLLC today to schedule an initial free consultation. If you have questions about paternity or need to establish your parental rights, our Florida family law attorneys are here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.