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Discretely Guiding Fathers Through The Complexities Of Paternity

Issues of paternity overlap with several family law matters including child support, custody and visitation rights. At the Law Office of Michael E. Golub, we understand the emotional and financial consequences often associated with establishing or disestablishing paternity. Our lawyer is committed to helping you resolve issues amicably and efficiently.

Being A Legal Father Comes With Specific Obligations And Benefits

A child who is born to married parents has a legal father. A child born to an unwed mother does not have a legal father until paternity is established. It is important to establish legal fatherhood to ensure that each parent has the same rights and responsibilities associated with child rearing. A legal father has the right to:

  • Obtain a court order for child custody and visitation
  • Petition for child support
  • Participate in making legal decisions concerning the child

Once paternity is established, the legal father has the same legal rights as the mother. The court regards each parent equally when establishing parenting plans that are in the child’s best interests.

How Is Paternity Established In Florida?

There are five ways to establish paternity:

  • Marriage – A husband is the legal father of any child born to a married couple.
  • Acknowledgement of paternity – An unmarried couple may sign a document establishing legal paternity. This document may be signed at the child’s birth or at a later date. If the mother is married to another man at the time of the child’s birth, this method may not be used to establish paternity.
  • Administrative order and genetic testing – If the mother, father and child take a genetic test that proves paternity, the Florida Department of Revenue issues an Administrative Order legally establishing paternity.
  • Court order – A judge may establish paternity through a court order.
  • Legitimation – When an unmarried mother marries the biological father following the birth of a child, he is considered the legal father.

An unmarried biological father must take specific actions to protect his rights as a legal father. If he fails to take prompt and substantial steps to establish a relationship with the child, he may lose his parental rights in part or altogether.

Trust A Respected And Professional Attorney With Your Most Sensitive Issues

Paternity cases can be emotionally charged and complex. The law office of Michael E. Golub strives to collaborate with all parties to reach a successful resolution that satisfies a child’s best interests. We offer complimentary 30-minute consultations as well as flexible appointment times to better serve our clients. Contact us online or call our Tavares office at 352-742-7777 today.