Divorce is always a stressful experience – especially for parents. In the state of Florida, the law automatically assumes that when a married mother gives birth, the mother’s husband is the father. If the mother is not married at the time, or if the child is not her husband’s, then the couple may need to establish paternity. This is where a child custody attorney can help.
In some cases, either the mother or the father of the child files a paternity lawsuit in order to prove paternity. In most cases, the goal of this lawsuit is to identify the child’s father in order to establish a child support arrangement.
Ending a marriage can come with several life-changing decisions, but a Naples child custody lawyer can represent your interests and help you avoid mistakes. If you are considering divorce in Florida, then call the The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. at 866-949-0888 to schedule a consultation.
Until then, read on to learn more about paternity lawsuits in Florida:
Filing a Paternity Suit
According to Florida Law, both men and women can file paternity lawsuits. The other person will have 20 days to reply. If the respondent does not reply to the paternity suit, then the case will go into default.
The respondent may reply to the suit either by contesting or not contesting the results. If the respondent contests the results, then either party must file a Motion for Scientific Paternity Testing. This will require a DNA test, which will prove if the respondent is the father of the child. Once the test proves the paternity of the child, the two parties can enter discussions regarding custody, support a parenting arrangement.
Why File a Paternity Suit?
While many paternity cases involve mothers who want to prove who the father is, there are several scenarios that may lead to a paternity suit. It may be possible that a man wishes to prove that he is not responsible for the child – and therefore any child support payments – by filing a paternity suit. In other cases, the mother does not acknowledge her husband as the father and wants proof to support this notion.
Many custody cases cannot proceed until the court is confident that the two parties are in fact the legal parents. In these cases, the court may mandate that all parties undergo a paternity test.
Although nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, no two cases are exactly alike. In addition to child custody concerns, divorces often involve several financial risks. A family attorney can evaluate your situation, guide you through the proceedings and help you avoid mistakes that would compromise your interests.
If you are divorcing in Florida, then a Naples child custody attorney from The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. can assist. This is a high-stakes matter, and you deserve reliable representation. Call us today at 866-949-0888 to schedule a consultation.