I am the Father of a child, but I am not married to the mother, what are my rights?
Are you an unmarried father and you’re wondering what your rights are? Give me a call, my name is Michael Ferrin with the Law Office of Anderson and Ferrin. Here at Anderson and Ferrin, we specialize in the area of family law, and we can definitely help you with regards to your custody case and establishing your rights as a father. What you have to understand is that if you have a child, and you are not married, you have no rights to that child until you file a paternity case and have your rights established with the court. It makes no difference whether you’re on the child’s birth certificate or whether you’re already paying child support through possibly the Department of Revenue. It makes no difference. You have no rights until you file a paternity case. So it’s very, very important that you do that as soon as you possibly can when you have a child outside of a marriage. In addition to that, what you need to do is you also need to file and register with the Putative Father Registry. What this registry is is basically a database of fathers that believe that they are the fathers of children. What happens is if any event there’s an adoption or anything with regards to this particular child, you’ll be notified in the event that that occurs. So it’s very important that you place yourself on that list as soon as possible as well. When it comes to these types of cases, a paternity case, which is what you would file to establish your rights can last anywhere from eight months to a year. This is very important when it comes to children because children grow very quickly, and so you’re gonna be, if you have a parent that’s just denying contact, you’re gonna be missing time that you really can’t get back, and these cases, there’s not much that can be done to move them faster as the courts just take that long to do them. So it’s very important that you act quickly, get yourself a good attorney, and work the case so that you can get through as fast as possible and get your timesharing with your child. Another thing to mention is that if you end up having a child with a married woman that’s not married to you, you must understand that it’s a little bit trickier when it comes to that. When the court considers a child born during a marriage, as the child is legally the husband’s child. In 2018, there was actually a new case law that came out in the state of Florida that actually opens the window a little bit as to a father’s ability to actually claim rights over a child that was born in intact marriage. The presumption is called the Marital Presumption, and what it was is basically it states that a father’s rights, if they’re the biological father are limited because of the fact that the child is considered a child born of the marriage and the husband is actually the legal father of the child, but again, a new case law’s come out. We’re actually very excited about it because we have several cases that are actually pending now with the courts and we’re really excited to see what happens with them. If you’re an unmarried father and you want to establish your rights to your child, please give us a call. My name is Michael Ferrin with the Law Office of Anderson and Ferrin, and you can reach us at 407-412-7041.