Paternity Attorney Orlando

When parents are married, both the mother and father have the rights and responsibilities to raise every child born to them. However, when the parents of a child are not married to each other when the child is born, paternity is not assumed. While it’s not always true that all the children in a marriage are biologically related to both parents, it’s often assumed that they are the legal parent. Without a marriage contract to tell the courts to assume this, the court needs to establish paternity.

If no paternity is established, the biological father does not have rights to the child. Until paternity is established, the mother generally has sole legal rights over the child. This is the case in Florida. Our Orlando paternity attorney can help you if you need to establish paternity.

How to Establish Paternity

Paternity can be established through a notarized Acknowledgment of Paternity form (Form DH-432). This form is to be completed by both the mother and father. The signing of this form must be witnessed by at least two individuals or a public notary. The Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement may also seek to establish paternity for child support purposes only. DNA tests are the primary means of establishing the father’s identity.

It can also be established after the child is born if the parents marry. This is done by filing the Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida form (DH-743A) or by providing a written statement under oath when applying for a marriage license. Once this form is completed, the father’s name can be added to the child’s birth certificate.

A judge may also establish paternity via a court order. In this circumstance, a civil action is filed through a paternity attorney and the courts determine whether or not a man is the father of the child in question. This man will be known as the “alleged father” until the identity of the father is established.

Other Ways to Prove Paternity Besides DNA Tests

While DNA is the main way that paternity is established, there are other ways as well. These ways include:

  • Bone marrow testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Circumstantial evidence, such as behavioral patterns
  • Prenatal test

It’s important to note that while these alternative methods can be used to establish paternity, they may not be as conclusive or accurate as DNA testing. DNA tests offer a high level of certainty, which is why they are the preferred method in many legal and personal situations. However, these alternative methods can vary by jurisdiction and case, so it’s essential to consult a paternity lawyer to determine the best approach in your specific situation.

How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity?

The timeframe can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances involved. In Florida, the statute of limitations for establishing paternity is when the child reaches 22 years of age.

It’s worth mentioning that as the child gets older, the legal process can become more complex. For example, if a child is well into their teenage years, their preferences and feelings may be taken into consideration by the court. Hence, fathers are recommended to file for paternity as soon as possible. Your paternity lawyer in Orlando should be able to tell you more in this regard.

What Does Established Paternity Allow a Father to Do?

Once paternity has been established, the father has legal rights to make decisions about their child’s care. This means that the father can:

  • Create a parenting plan
  • Seek custody rights
  • Establish visitation plans
  • Seek a court order for child support or a change in a child support agreement
  • Provide the child with access to their family medical history
  • Provide the child with health insurance
  • Name the child as an heir to an inheritance

Need to Establish Your Identity as a Father? Contact C. Alvarez Law Today

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding things in life, but you or your child’s other parent miss out if paternity isn’t established. Determining paternity is not just a legal formality; it has profound and far-reaching consequences for the child’s well-being and security. It is a critical step in ensuring that children have the support, care, and connection they need from both parents.

A paternity lawyer can provide valuable assistance when it comes to establishing or challenging paternity. Their guidance can be invaluable in ensuring that your rights are protected and that the best interests of the child are prioritized throughout the paternity process. They can also help enforce court orders and seek modifications when circumstances change.

Don’t miss out on your child’s life. Let the Orlando paternity attorneys at C. Alvarez Law help you establish your paternity, allowing you to exercise your rights as a father and raise your child. Contact us today.