The Four Main Benefits Of Establishing Paternity For Your Child
In Orlando, as throughout the rest of Florida, the law presumes that when two married people have a child together, both spouses are considered the biological parents of the child. The same presumption is not in place when two people have a child together and they are not married. In these instances, it is important that paternity is established as early as possible, so the two parents can avoid future disputes. If you are unwed and have had a child, below are the four main benefits of establishing paternity.
Establish Child Support Obligations
All parents in Orlando are expected to financially provide for their children until they are no longer minors, or they have graduated from high school. Establishing paternity proves that a person is the father of the child and therefore, is responsible for paying child support. Both the child and the mother can benefit from this support, but biological fathers can, as well. If a father is a veteran or disabled, they may be entitled to other government benefits, as well.
Legal Custody Rights
People often think that custody only refers to physical custody, or parenting time as it is known in Florida. Legal custody of children is also awarded in Florida, which gives each parent the right to make important decisions for the child. These decisions can include the medical care and education the child receives, as well as the religion the child is raised in, and more. Without establishing paternity, fathers do not have any say in these important decisions.
Parenting Time Rights
Although many states still use the term “child custody,” Florida uses the term “parenting time.” Like the name suggests, though, parenting time is only awarded to parents. Establishing paternity allows fathers to spend a certain amount of time with their child, which is a right they may not have without proving that they are the father. It is important to note that there are exceptions to the law. For example, if a father has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence, they will likely not be awarded parenting time even after paternity is established.
Knowing the Child’s Medical History
It is vital for everyone to understand their family’s medical history so they can live a healthy life and know if they are at risk of developing certain conditions, such as heart disease. When paternity is not established, neither the mother or the child has the right to access the father’s medical history. This remains true even when the child is an adult. A paternity order will clearly show who the father’s child is, giving either the mother or an adult child the legal right to access their medical history.
Our Paternity Lawyer in Orlando Can Advise on Your Case
If you want to reap the benefits of determining parentage, our Orlando paternity lawyer at Anderson & Ferrin, P.A. can guide you through the process and any subsequent steps you should take. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.