Brandon Paternity Attorney
While there is no confusion about the identity of a child’s mother—after all, the mother is the one who gives birth to the child—it can be difficult to determine who a child’s father is in some cases. Knowing a child’s father can be important in many cases, especially if the mother is seeking child support. Plus, it’s important for a man to know whether or not he has children for genetic and inheritance reasons.
It is possible that a man may not know they have fathered a child until many years after it is born. Because of this, Florida law allows fathers to file a paternity action until the child reaches 18 years old.
Paternity is not just for the man’s knowledge. It gives rights and benefits to the mother and child as well. Both parents have a right to child support and child custody, while the child is entitled to the following:
- The father’s name is on the birth certificate
- Health or life insurance from the father
- Information on family medical history
- Child support
- Government benefits such as Social Security or veteran’s benefits
- Rights to inheritance
Establishing Paternity in Florida
In Florida, paternity can be established in three different ways:
- At birth in the hospital. If the parents are married, paternity is automatically established. If the parents are unmarried, paternity can be established by both parents at the hospital.
- By acknowledgement or legitimization. If the child is born and the parents get married at a later date, paternity can be established through the marriage license. Paternity can also be established voluntarily by both parents.
- By legal order. Paternity can also be established by a legal order through genetic testing. If the state orders it, you don’t have to go to court. If you do have to go to court, the judge can order paternity.
DNA testing involves the examination of genetic material that the child inherited from both biological parents. The child’s genetics are first compared to those of the mother. The characteristics that aren’t found in the mother are determined to have come from the father. If he doesn’t have these characteristics, he is excluded. DNA tests are considered to be 99% accurate.
DNA testing is not done in every paternity case, though. It is generally done only when there is
a possibility that there could be multiple fathers for a child. If the mother is demanding child support from a man, for example, the man may require proof that he is the child’s father before consenting to payment. On the flip side, the mother may demand a paternity test when a man tries to gain custody or visitation of a child he claims to be his.
Contact a Brandon Paternity Attorney Today
Paternity is an element that arises in many cases, including inheritance, child support, visitation, and health care. Because of this, establishing who a child’s father is can be very important.
Paternity issues can result in court cases. Whether you’re trying to prove or disprove it, an experienced Brandon paternity attorney can help. Stephanie Koether from Koether Law, P.A. can assist you with the legal and emotional implications. Schedule a consultation with our office today.