When parents are married, both the mother and father have rights and responsibilities to every child born to them. However, when the parents of a child are not married to each other when the child is born, then they must establish paternity.

Otherwise, the child does not have a legal father and 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, along with several other states within the U.S. A Florida paternity attorney can help.

How to Establish Paternity

Paternity can be established through a notarized Acknowledgment of Paternity form (Form DH-432). This form is completed by both the mother and father. The signing of this form must be witnessed by two individuals or a public notary. The Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement may also seek establishment 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 court order. In this circumstance, a civil action is filed 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.

What Does Established Paternity Allow a Father to Do?

Establishing paternity allows a father to:

  • Set a parenting plan.
  • Seek custody rights.
  • Establish visitation plans.
  • Seek a court order for child support.
  • Provide the child with access to family medical history.
  • Provide the child with health insurance.
  • Name the child as an heir to inheritances.

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. Don’t miss out on your child’s life. Let the Florida lawyer 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.