In this day and age the wonders of DNA technology allow mothers to file for paternity from father’s who deny their paternity or do not accept responsibility for their child.
In Florida paternity can be established one of two ways.
- A couple is married and the child is born during marriage.
- Paternity is established in the courts through a an Establishment of Paternity case.
Filing for Paternity
To establish paternity a mother (or father) can file a petition to Establish Paternity with a Florida court. The person filing must be a resident of Florida for at least 6 months before filing. In the petition, the mother or father will request that paternity be determined by the court. Additionally, through these legal proceedings, the following issues will be rectified: child support, health insurance, visitation and parenting plans in accordance with Florida law.
If there is a dispute about the paternity of a child, such as a father denying his parentage, a DNA test will typically be ordered and served to determine paternity. This is not needed if both the mother and father agree on the paternity of a child.
As a mother you have a right to file a Petition to Establish Paternity so that you may collect child support from the father. The father’s obligations to the child are legal binding regardless of the father’s interest or inclination to be a part of the rearing of the child. Once paternity has been established, a mother has the right to request child support for the prior 24 months from the date the petition was filed.
Additionally, if a man believes that he is not the father of his spouse or partner’s child he may file a petition to Establish Paternity to prove he is not the father and therefore does not owe child support. Conversely, if a man believes that woman has bore his child without telling him, he may file for paternity, as he has equal rights to see his child in the eyes of the law.
You wish to file for an Establishment of Paternity, give us a call today and we will guide you through the process. We have experienced team of family law attorneys at your disposal to give you and your family the support that they deserve.