The legal relationship between a father and his child is called paternity. Paternity laws in Florida are complicated and counter-intuitive. We receive lots of inquiries requesting assistance in establishing paternity, after being frustrated trying to figure it out alone.
Under What Circumstances Must Paternity be Established
According to the Florida Law, if the mother is married at the time the child was either conceived or born, then the spouse is presumed to be the father of the child and has to prove otherwise if disputing paternity. If, however, the mother is not married at the time the child was conceived or is born, then the named father is considered only the “alleged father”.
How do You Establish Paternity?
There are a few ways for interested parties to establish paternity. One way is through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form, which both parents complete, sign, and have witnessed and dated. This is the easiest way to establish paternity, and the Acknowledgement of Paternity can be filled out at the hospital at the time of childbirth. There are instructions on the form and an explanation of parental rights and responsibilities. Parents usually do not need legal assistance with this.
Another way is by having an order of paternity entered in court by a judge. We are usually called when parties need to go through the court system to establish paternity. For anybody who requires assistance establishing paternity using any of these three methods, free assistance is available by the state of Illinois. If, however, you have exhausted your options and would like paternity and child support attorneys to help you establish paternity, through whatever method you choose, we are standing by to assist you.
Why is Establishing Paternity Important?
It is important to have the paternity relationship established for a number of reasons. First, every child deserves the benefits that derive from a legal father-child relationship, and every mother and father deserve this as well. Second, establishing paternity protects the rights of both parents. It provides the mother with a method to obtain child support so she is not the sole person responsible for the welfare of the child. It provides the father with access to the child and access to medical information that he would otherwise not be entitled to. Establishing paternity also secures any possible future benefits the child may be entitled to if the father dies, such as Social Security, veterans’ benefits, and inheritance.
How Can Attorney Morse Help You?
If you are unable to establish paternity through use of a Acknowledgement of Paternity and have exhausted all of your other options, you need an experienced family law attorney. We can help establish paternity either through a Court Order or if necessary, a court Order. If you are located in Orlando or the surrounding areas of Central Florida and would like to discuss your options for establishing paternity, please contact the Law Office of Erin Morse by calling (407) 900- 7451 or clicking here to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with Attorney Morse.