Miami and Florida Family Lawyers Work to Resolve Paternity Questions

Representing Florida residents when a child’s parentage is at issue

Rafool, PLLC, assists Florida residents with legal questions about paternity. This subject can be sensitive, but determining paternity it is a crucial factor in shaping a child’s life. Florida family law supports the principle that children should grow up with the emotional and financial support of both parents. Where appropriate, we work diligently to make that occur. We also advocate for people who are improperly being obligated to support kids who are not theirs.

Advising on the legal obligations of paternity and child support

If you have any questions about the parenthood of a child, it is crucial that the matter be resolved quickly for their sake. These are some of the factors at stake in a paternity matter:

  • Child support and health insurance — No matter what the relationship of the parents is, a child should not be hurt by it, so paternity is crucial in ensuring that the child has the best chance to thrive. Even in situations where a parent does not have significant assets, his/her children might be eligible for benefits through his military service or disability status.
  • Legal decision-making authority — For each important choice in a child’s life, parental influence is vital. Establishing paternity allows both parents to help guide their son or daughter.
  • Custody and visitation determinations — Parenthood encompasses much more than monetary support. By establishing paternity, a court can set ground rules so that both parents remain as influences in their child’s life.

As experienced family law attorneys, we will explain the technical and legal process of determining paternity and strive to achieve what is in the best interests of you and the child.

Disproving paternity for men who are not biological fathers

When a married woman delivers a baby in Florida, her husband is legally designated as the father. Sometimes contradictory information emerges later in the marriage or during a divorce proceeding. If biological fatherhood does not exist in a marriage, the husband must initiate legal action if he chooses to disavow the child’s paternity and the resulting responsibilities. If you believe that you are not the father of a child who is designated as yours, either due to marriage or a prior paternity acknowledgement, Rafool, PLLC, can start the legal process to correct the situation.

Establishing paternity when unmarried men father children

Florida does not automatically designate a father when a child is born to an unmarried woman. If both parents acknowledge who the father is, they can execute a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.” After 60 days, the document is given legal force and the man has full parental rights and responsibilities. If both parents will not agree to the acknowledgment, either one can go to court to establish paternity. The Florida Department of Child Support Services can also bring a paternity case, but only for the purpose of obtaining child support payments, not to create other parental rights such as visitation.

Attorneys helping to obtain legal parental rights such as visitation

Once paternity is established, legal obligations and privileges apply. The father can be brought to court in order to pay child support. He also has rights to custody and visitation when it is in the child’s best interests and to take part in key decisions affecting the child.

For assistance with paternity issues, contact our Florida lawyers for an initial consultation

Rafool, PLLC, is a family law firm located in Miami, serving clients throughout Florida.