Jacksonville Paternity Lawyer

If you are the mother or father of a child born out of wedlock it is important to establish your child’s legal rights. Your child is entitled to child support from both parents. Additionally, a parenting plan can be established which awards timesharing and shared parenting. It is important that your child be awarded his or her legal rights.

Establishing Paternity under Florida Law

how to establish paternity in FloridaUnder Florida Law, any woman who is pregnant or has a child, any man who has reason to believe that he is the father of a child, or any child may bring proceedings in the circuit court to determine the paternity of a child. When a child is born out of wedlock, paternity can be established when the mother and father of the child later marry, by the mother and father of the child signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity at the birth of the child, by administrative order, or by court order.

Father of a Child

When a child is born out of wedlock, the biological father has no legal rights to the child until such time as a judge adjudicates him to be the legal father of the child. This is true even if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate. To have enforceable timesharing and shared parental responsibility (the right to have input into religious, education, medical and social decisions of the child) the father must be adjudicated the legal father. Otherwise the mother of the child is the sole custodial parent.

Mother of a Child

A mother of a child may need to establish paternity so that she can be awarded child support and have the father’s child support obligation enforced by the court. A mother of a child may also want to establish paternity so that the father will share in the day-to-day care of the child through timesharing and assist her with doctor’s appointments, extra-curricular activities and the child’s education.

The Child

A child born out of wedlock will benefit from a paternity action in that he or she will know the legal identity of their father, will have their father’s name on their birth certificate, can obtain health insurance under their father’s health insurance policy, have financial support from the father and be entitled to the father’s governmental benefits.

Talk with us concerning Paternity and all areas of marital and family law. At the Law Office of James T. Keenan, we understand your individual situation and needs. We are experienced and promise to handle your paternity case professionally and aggressively.

We get results. Call the law office of James T. Keenan at 904-359-0060 to discuss your situation or setup a consultation.

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