Establishing paternity can come with a host of benefits, including the legal rights to have custody of your children and make decisions regarding their life and wellbeing. But proving paternity can be complex, and many fathers in Naples, FL don’t fully understand the process of establishing paternity and enjoying the legal rights that paternity provides.
Common Myths About Paternity
One common paternity myth is that by being added to a birth certificate you will automatically and irreversibly be considered the biological father of a minor child. However, a father’s name on a birth certificate does not establish the child’s paternity, but it can be used in a legal paternity action, according to Family Law Rights. The paternity of the child can be established through an agreement that is signed by both parents, or by a court order after a DNA test is performed.
Florida law differentiates between a legal father and a biological father. The Florida Bar states that a man may be proven to be the biological father of the child, but not be recognized to have any parental rights. A legal father is recognized by the court as the person who has the legal rights to the child, even if they are not their biological father. Florida law states that if a married woman gives birth to a child, the husband is the child’s legal father even if it was known that the woman was having extra-marital affairs. The biological father may file a paternity action so that they can fight for their paternity rights in Florida.
How to Establish Paternity in Florida
According to Family Law Rights, if another man whose name is not on the birth certificate believes that he is the father of the child, he has the right to request a DNA test through the filing of a paternity action. In a situation like this, the DNA of the mother, the child, and the potential father will be taken for testing. Normally tests are performed by taking a DNA sample from the mouth with a cotton swab. Popular medical centers such as LabCorp have multiple locations in Naples, FL and offer paternity tests at that are accepted in court cases.
What Rights and Responsibilities Are Secured by Establishing Paternity?
After paternity has been established, Florida courts will create a time-sharing and custody plan so that the father can spend time with his child(ren). But paternal rights come with responsibilities too. Courts calculate any present and retroactive child support that is due for the benefit of the minor child.
Family Law Rights advises that the father wishing to prove paternity should always get representation from a qualified Florida family lawyer to help get paternity rights established. If you have questions about establishing paternity in Naples, FL or protecting your rights as a parent, contact experienced family attorney Michael M. Raheb by calling 239-226-0888 or by sending us a message online.
The Law Offices of
Michael M. Raheb, P.A.
2423 First Street,
Fort Myers FL 33901
Fax Number: 866-949-0888