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With the advent of saliva testing to determine parentage, it is logical to assume the ability to establish paternity is a simplified process. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and establishing or disestablishing paternity can be complicated. To ensure the paternity of a child is handled in accordance with governing law, it is crucial to obtain Florida paternity attorneys that are well-versed in these matters. At Winthrop Law Offices, we are experienced counsel with the experience you are looking for in all matters pertaining to paternity.
Establishment of Paternity
Pursuant to Florida Statute Ann §382.013(2)(a), “(i)f the mother is married at the time of birth, the name of the husband shall be entered on the birth certificate as the father of the child unless paternity has been determined otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.” In other words, even if the parties have been separated for a significant amount of time, and both agree another man is the father, the husband is still presumed to be the father and his name shall be entered on the birth certificate.
When a child is born out of wedlock, there are four different ways paternity may be established:
- If the child is born out of wedlock, but the parents later marry and the birth record updated, paternity is established
- If the parties properly execute an Acknowledgement of Paternity, then paternity is established
- If a judge issues an Order of Paternity, then paternity is established
- If a genetic test reveals who the father is and a subsequent order is entered, then paternity is established
Contesting & Disestablishment of Paternity in Florida
When a man has reason to believe he is not the biological father of a child, there are very specific procedures in place under Florida Statute Ann §742.18 to contest and disestablish paternity. An initial petition must be filed in the circuit court with jurisdiction and served on the mother or guardian of the child. This petition must be accompanied by an affidavit that expressly complies with the terms of the statute.
Florida has established a procedure for potential fathers to register if they believe there is a possibility they have fathered a child. Pursuant to Florida Statute Ann §63.054, the purpose of the registry is to preserve the father’s “right to notice and consent to an adoption.” The registry is established by the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health.
Contact Our Florida Paternity Attorneys
Whether you are looking to establish paternity so you can collect child support from your child’s father, or you are seeking to disestablish paternity for a child who is not your own, our Florida paternity attorneys can help.
Contact our firm at (561) 264-5197 today to schedule a free consultation. We work hard to bring you the peace of mind you deserve.