Orlando Paternity Attorney
When a woman gives birth to a baby, it’s obvious that the child is biologically hers. However, determining who the father is can be a lot more complicated. If a couple is married when a child is born, then the husband is assumed to be the father. But when the couple is unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, then paternity must be established.
Establishing paternity has benefits for both the man and child. They include the following:
- The father’s name is on the birth certificate
- Ensuring a child is eligible for the father’s benefits, including health insurance, life insurance, military benefits, Social Security benefits, and inheritance
- Access to the father’s genetic history
- Ability to request child support or establish visitation orders
If you believe you are the father of a child, take the steps to establish paternity. Orlando paternity attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Attorney at Law can help you with the process.
How to Establish Paternity
There are several ways to establish paternity based on the circumstances:
- At birth. If the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, then paternity is automatically established. No further action needs to be taken.
- Between 0-18 years old. Paternity can be established by legitimation. If the parents are unmarried when the baby is born but they later marry, the father can establish paternity when applying for the marriage license. Paternity can also be established by a court order. The child or child’s mother can order paternity through the court. Alternatively, it can be ordered by the Florida Department of Revenue so you don’t have to go to court. Both options use genetic testing to determine the child’s biological father. If both parents agree on who the father is, they can voluntarily determine paternity by signing a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form. The parents are swearing under oath that the information is true. The acknowledgement is final after 60 days and cannot be revoked.
Starting a Case
The circuit courts in Florida cover family law cases. The judge in each court has the authority to make decisions on paternity cases. The first step is to start a paternity case in the circuit court for the county where the mother or father resides. The court will order genetic testing for the mother, child, and the man assumed to be the father. While a case can begin before the child’s birth, the final hearing cannot take place until after the child is born.
Contact Us Today
Determining paternity is important for a man as well as the child. A child has the right to know who their parents are as well as understand their genetic and medical history.
Not sure if you’re the father? Orlando paternity attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Attorney at Law can guide you through the process of establishing paternity. Call our office at 407-521-7171 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.