The presence of a child’s father in their life can have a resounding influence on how they develop and what kind of person they grow up to become. Establishing paternity can also be key to ensuring a child receives the financial support they need while growing up and that various other rights related to custody and visitation can be enforced.

If you need help proving someone is the father of your child or that you are the father of someone else’s child, contact a Coral Gables paternity lawyer. Whether you and your child’s other parent want to work together to prove fatherhood or you have to do so by yourself, guidance from a seasoned family attorney could be crucial to achieving your goals as efficiently as possible.

How to Establish Paternity in Florida with a Coral Gables Attorney

Under state law, when a mother gives birth to a child while married to a biologically male partner, that partner is presumed to be the child’s father. Because of this, that partner will be named as the father on the child’s birth certificate unless one or both parties immediately object. If a child’s parents are unmarried, but both agree that the male partner is the child’s biological father, they can jointly sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity at any point prior to the child’s 18th birthday.

If there is neither a birth certificate nor a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, a child’s mother or alleged father may file a Petition to Determine Paternity and request DNA testing. Alternatively, a civil court may order genetic testing to be performed and determine fatherhood based on the results of that testing during a family court action.

Regardless of how it happens, the state will issue an Order of Paternity and ensure the Bureau of Vital Statistics updates the child’s birth certificate accordingly once fatherhood is established. A Coral Gables attorney could explain in detail how each step in establishing paternity may work in a particular situation.

Rights and Responsibilities of Biological Fathers

A man who is legally recognized as a child’s biological father does not automatically gain physical custody or visitation rights. However, they do gain the right to formally request scheduled time with their child through court action. Additionally, they may be granted legal custody over their child, which would allow them to participate in certain parental responsibilities and decisions regarding important matters in the child’s life.

Importantly, paternity also establishes an obligation on a biological father’s part to financially support their child through monthly financial payments. The exact value and frequency of these payments vary depending on the application of Florida’s child support guidelines. A paternity lawyer in Coral Gables can provide more specific guidance about what establishing fatherhood could mean for a particular individual.

A Coral Gables Paternity Attorney Can Help You Today

Knowing who your child’s father is—or legally establishing yourself as your child’s father—can be key in protecting your child’s best interests. Without the legal establishment of fatherhood, you may struggle to enforce various rights you should have regarding your relationship with your child, potentially including the right to receive financial support that you and your child deserve under Florida state law.

No matter your unique situation, a Coral Gables paternity lawyer can help you proactively seek a positive resolution to your case. Call our office today to learn more today.