Do You Need A Lawyer For Your Paternity Case?
Contrary to what many people, having your name appear on a child’s birth certificate is not enough to legally establish you as the biological father. Establishing paternity is also not always as easy as filling out some paperwork and submitting it to the hospital. Even when you acknowledge paternity in certain circumstances, it may make you liable for paying child support but may not provide you with child custody rights at the same time.
Many people wonder if they should work with a lawyer when establishing paternity and the answer is always yes. The laws regarding paternity are complex and the process can be emotional and overwhelming. An Orlando paternity lawyer will help you overcome the challenges that arise while also ensuring your rights are upheld.
Classifications of Paternity Under the Law
Paternity laws in Florida are complex and just because a person is formally recognized as a child’s father does not necessarily mean that they are the biological father. The law classifies fatherhood according to the man’s relationship with the mother. Under the law, the different classifications include:
- Presumed father: When two people are married and the woman has a child, the man is legally presumed to be the father of the child.
- Acknowledged father: A man can voluntarily state that he is the father of a child, usually shortly after the child’s birth and sometimes before the newborn has left the hospital. A voluntary acknowledgement will mean the man is the legal father child of the father if the mother agrees.
- Unmarried fathers: When a man is not married but has a child with a woman, they are considered the father of the child. In some cases, paternity may still need to be legally established.
- Stepfathers: When a man marries a woman who has a child from a previous relationship, the man is considered to be the stepfather. Stepfathers must legally adopt a stepchild before they can establish paternity.
Each classification of paternity brings with it certain rights and responsibilities of fathers under the law. An Orlando paternity lawyer can advise on the classification you fall into and how that affects your case.
It is not always easy to establish paternity and disputes may arise along the way. If you need to challenge one’s claim to paternity, you must submit many different documents to the court. You will need several legal forms as well as an affidavit and sufficient evidence to prove your case. An Orlando paternity lawyer will be familiar with the process and guide you through it so you have the best chance of a favorable outcome.
Our Paternity Lawyer in Orlando Can Assist with Your Case
When establishing paternity, you should never go through the process alone. At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our Orlando paternity lawyer can help you navigate the process and overcome any challenges that arise. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.