Paternity: As easy as DNA?
Proving paternity can be a struggle for everyone involved. It is the process of determining who is the legal father of a child. Florida law states that a child born to married parents automatically has a legal father but, if the mother is not married when the child is born, legal paternity must to established for the child.
What are the benefits associated with paternity?
By legally establishing paternity, a child will know who to call dad, but will also be given benefits such as social security and veteran or military benefits, if qualified. Determining paternity also provides the child with support from both parents, no matter if they are together or separated. In addition to that, each parent will have legal rights to time-sharing and child support should a separation occur. Each parent will have a right to be involved in all decisions surround the well being of the child.
How do I establish legal paternity?
According to Florida Law, there are five ways to prove paternity.
- Paternity is automatically established is the child is born to married parents. All paperwork needed to finalize this will be completed in the hospital.
- Acknowledgement of Paternity: A father may willingly acknowledge his child at birth, or sometime after, if the mother and father are unmarried. Both parents will signs a form stating who the father is. This will need to be signed in front of two witnesses or a public notary.
- Court Oder: A judge may establish paternity. The judge will look at the evidence and determine if the man is the legal father. This can come through documented evidence or even genetic testing.
- Legitimating: The father and mother get married after the child was born.
- Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing: As a way to establish paternity without the court, the mother, alleged father, and child are required to take a genetic test. If the results show that the alleged father is the biological father, an Administrative Order of Paternity will be issued and that father’s name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.
Once paternity is established, all rights discussed earlier will be in place. If you are desire to prove paternity, contact the skilled family law attorneys at McDonald & McDonald today. We are here to help.