Winter Park Paternity Lawyer
When two people are married and a child is born, it is presumed that the husband is the biological father of the child. The same is not true when a couple who is not married has children together. In these cases, paternity must be established to determine which party has certain rights and responsibilities for the child. Establishing paternity is very simple when both parties agree. Unfortunately, disputes can arise and that makes these cases much more difficult. A Winter Park paternity lawyer can help with the complexities these cases present.
Signing the Birth Certificate Does Not Establish Paternity
It is a common misconception that when someone signs the birth certificate, it officially establishes paternity. This is not the case. When a man signs the birth certificate, it only establishes the presumption that he is the father of the child. To legally establish paternity, one party must file a Petition to Establish Paternity with the court.
How to Establish Paternity in Winter Park
Either a mother or father can file a Petition to Establish Paternity with the appropriate court. Before filing the petition, the individual must have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months before filing. The petition essentially asks the court to establish paternity. Other issues can also be addressed, including visitation, time sharing, parenting plans, child support, and health and medical insurance.
Individuals other than the mother or alleged father can file a petition with the court. Anyone who believes that they are the father of the child can also file. When the child’s mother or guardian applies for government assistance, such as Medicaid, and paternity has not been established, the State of Florida Department of Revenue may also ask a court to establish paternity so child support issues can be addressed. A petition from this agency can include more than one possible father of the child.
DNA Testing when Establishing Paternity
DNA testing is sometimes required to establish paternity, but that is not always the case. If the alleged father and the mother agree on paternity, the father does not usually have to take a DNA test. On the other hand, if there is a dispute about paternity, the court will order a DNA test to identify the biological father of the child.
Establishing Paternity and Child Support
Just because paternity has not been established does not mean fathers can avoid paying child support. Mothers who wish to pursue child support can file a petition with the court to establish paternity. There is no timeframe in which mothers have to file the petition, but the child does still have to be considered a minor. If it is determined that the man in question is the biological father after establishing paternity, the mother can request up to 24 months of back pay child support from the time they filed the petition.
Our Paternity Lawyer in Winter Park Can Protect Your Rights
If you need to establish paternity to receive visitation with your child or to ask for child support, our Winter Park paternity lawyer can help. At Anderson & Ferrin, our skilled attorneys will guide you through the process and ensure your rights are always protected. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.