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The first step to establish rights in Florida is by filing a paternity action. Whether you are a single mother looking to locate the legal father of your child or a father looking to claim your parental rights, establishing paternity is critical and greatly benefits the well being of the child.
In the state of Florida, if the mother and father are not married when the child is born, the child does not have a legal father. Legal paternity has to be established for the child by filing a petition.
A father’s name on a birth certificate does not establish the child’s paternity, but it can be used in a legal paternity action. The paternity of the child can be established through an agreement that is signed by both parents, or by a court order such as after a DNA test is performed. If another man whose name is not on the birth certificate believes that he is the father of the child, he has the right to request a DNA test through the filing of a paternity action.
A paternity action can also be filed by a pregnant woman, an unmarried woman who has a child, a father who believes that he could have fathered a child with a certain woman, or by children who want to determine who their dad is if paternity has never been established.
However, every situation is different and needs to be evaluated. at JLP Legal we can help you to establish Paternity.