If you are a father, it is important to understand that a child is born with a unique set of rights and responsibilities. Those responsibilities include the right to be involved in legal decisions regarding your child, receive child support payments and to participate in your child’s visitation or custody. These rights can only be established once paternity is legally established.
Until paternity is legally established, the man alleged to be the child’s father is referred to as “the alleged father.” A court can establish legal fatherhood by ordering a DNA test that shows a genetic relationship between the alleged father and the child. The court then issues an order that identifies the alleged father as the legal father of the child.
There are several ways to establish legal fatherhood in Florida. One way is to have both the mother and alleged father sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form. If the alleged father and mother agree that they are the child’s legal father, they can sign this document and mail it to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics. Then the Bureau can change the child’s birth certificate to include the legal father’s name.
Another option to establish legal fatherhood is to file a paternity action in circuit court. This is a civil matter and the person who files the case must be served with a copy of the court’s order.
The judge will review all of the evidence and then decide whether or not to grant a finding of legal fatherhood. If the judge determines that a child is not the legal son of the alleged father, the judge can dismiss the action. If a finding of legal fatherhood is granted, it becomes very difficult to reverse that decision.
Regardless of how you wish to establish legal fatherhood, it is best to hire a reputable divorce and family law attorney who will handle your case with care and compassion. Our attorneys will help you build a solid case that presents all of the facts in a compelling manner.
If you are unsure of what steps to take to establish legal fatherhood, contact the Miami family law firm of Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC. We have the experience and knowledge to represent you in your South Miami father’s rights case and achieve the desired results.
A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he was married to the mother at the time of conception or if he adopted the child after the marriage. He is also presumed to be the father if he is listed as the child’s biological father on the child’s birth certificate.
Even if a man was not married to the mother at the time of conception, he may still be able to claim to be the child’s father by filing with the state. The alleged father can do this by registering with the Florida Putative Father Registry. In this process, he must provide consent to potential DNA testing and state that he will provide support for the child.