Maitland Paternity Lawyer
There are a number of practical benefits to establishing paternity. For instance, a child’s mother can only pursue child support from the other parent when legal paternity has been established. Furthermore, a father cannot request shared custody unless he has been declared the legal father of the child in question. Children can also benefit from knowing their full family medical history, being the beneficiary of a health insurance policy, or having access to both parents’ benefits. Finally, establishing paternity can promote the growth of a father-child relationship, aiding in the child’s short and long-term development. To learn more about establishing paternity in Florida, reach out to one of our dedicated Maitland paternity lawyers today.
Voluntary Acknowledgment at Birth
There are actually a few different ways for unmarried parents to establish paternity of a child, one of which is to sign a paternity acknowledgment form (DH-511) at the time of the child’s birth. This is probably the easiest way to establish paternity, but requires the father’s presence at the hospital. Once the form is completed, it will be sent by the hospital staff to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics and the legal father’s name will be placed on the birth certificate when it is recorded. Voluntary acknowledgment, however, isn’t an option if the woman is married to someone else when the child is born.
Voluntary Acknowledgement at a Later Date
Even if the father wasn’t present at the child’s birth, he can still voluntarily acknowledge paternity at a later date. In these cases, both parents will need to fill out an Acknowledgement of Paternity form and then sign it in the presence of two witnesses or a notary. The form will then need to be mailed to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics, which will change the birth certificate by adding the legal father’s name. Again, this option isn’t available if the child’s mother was married to someone else at the time of the child’s birth.
Voluntary Acknowledgment Upon Marriage
If a child’s mother was unmarried at the time of the birth, but later marries the child’s father, he will become the child’s legal father. However, this doesn’t mean that his name will be automatically added to the birth certificate. For this to happen, both parents will need to complete the Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida form or provide a written statement to the Clerk of Court when applying for a marriage license.
Establishing Paternity Via Court Order
It is also possible to establish paternity by obtaining a court order, which is the method used when either the putative father or the child’s mother denies paternity. In these cases, either parent can file a civil action to establish paternity, at which point the judge will order a genetic test. If the test results reveal that the man is the child’s father, then the court will issue an order establishing paternity. Alternatively, if an alleged father was served with the notice to appear or provide a genetic sample, but failed to do so, the court can issue an order of paternity by default.
Schedule a Meeting with the Maitland Paternity Lawyers at Anderson & Ferrin
A dedicated Maitland paternity lawyer at Anderson & Ferrin, have been helping clients resolve their custody, divorce, and paternity matters for more than 20 years. For help, call our office at 407-412-7041 and set up a meeting today.