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Lakeland Family & Divorce Attorney / Blog / Paternity / What Is the Importance of Establishing Paternity in Florida?

What Is the Importance of Establishing Paternity in Florida?


In Florida, the husband is considered the child’s legal father when a child is born to married parents. When a child is born to married parents, the husband does not need to take any action to establish paternity. On the other hand, if a child is born to unmarried parents, paternity must be established. It might seem unnecessary to establish paternity when both parents know who the father of the child is, but establishing paternity is crucial for several reasons. In this article, we discuss the importance of establishing paternity. But before that, we look at the different ways of establishing paternity in Florida. Read on!

Ways of Establishing Paternity in Florida

In Florida, there are several ways of establishing paternity. The most common and easiest way of establishing paternity in Florida is by both parents signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. Usually, this form is signed at the hospital shortly after the child’s birth, but it can be signed at a later date. After an Acknowledgment of Paternity form has been signed, it becomes final and binding after 60 days. In other words, once 60 days pass after both parents have signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, neither party can revoke or set it aside.

If both parents are unwilling or cannot sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form, the Florida Department of Revenue or a private attorney can help the mother and alleged father complete a genetic test. If the test shows a match between the alleged father’s DNA and the child’s DNA, an Administrative Order of Paternity is issued, and the father’s name is added to the birth certificate.

Lastly, in Florida, paternity can be established by filing a court case.

Importance of Establishing Paternity

The following are some of the reasons why it is important to establish paternity in Florida;

Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Establishing paternity is necessary to establish parental rights, such as timesharing. When you establish paternity, you ensure you’ll always maintain the right to see your child, regardless of the relationship between you and the child’s mother. When you establish paternity, you don’t have to worry about not being able to see your child because of a disagreement between you and the child’s mother. When paternity is established, the law is there to ensure your rights as a father are not withheld.

Financial Support

As a parent, you want to ensure your child is protected and provided for. Establishing paternity is necessary to determine child support obligations. Aside from establishing parental rights, establishing paternity can ensure your child is eligible for various benefits, such as pension and retirement, Social Security Benefits, military benefits, and life insurance.

Medical History Knowledge

Another crucial reason to establish paternity is so the child can have full knowledge of their medical history. Understanding a father’s medical history can help a child’s healthcare providers make informed decisions when medical issues arise.

Right to Access a Child’s Information

After establishing paternity and gaining legal parental rights, a father has the right to access any information about their child.

Contact a Lakeland Paternity Attorney

There are many more important reasons for establishing paternity. If you are considering establishing paternity in Florida, contact a qualified Lakeland paternity attorney at Darla K. Snead. P.L., to schedule a consultation.

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