The Importance Of Determining Paternity In Florida

Paternity is a legal term that refers to the establishment or refutation of a man’s fatherhood to a child. Unlike in the case of maternity, which is easy to confirm or deny, paternity lawsuits can be a long and tedious battle in court, supported by various scientific tests and testimonies.

If you are in a relationship or situation in which you need to confirm the paternity of a child, I can help. Contact me, attorney Mark E. Sawicki, at my Palm Beach Gardens or Melbourne office by calling 954-928-9331 to arrange a consultation.

The Rights And Responsibilities Of Florida Paternity

There are two basic assumptions connected to paternity. It is assumed that:

  1. A man who has paternity of a child will have legal responsibility for the child, regardless of whether he is married to the child’s mother or not.
  2. A woman’s husband has “presumed paternity” over any child born of the woman.

There are reasons for a putative (or assumed) father to verify or pursue paternity. One significant reason to identify a child’s father is that, in Florida, a father is financially responsible for his child until that child is 18.

When To Bring A Paternity Lawsuit

Paternity lawsuits are usually filed in cases when there is:

  • Uncertainty over who fathered a child, usually brought on by a child having more than one possible father
  • A question on the extent of parental rights and responsibilities as a father

With the use of law, testimonies, and scientific testing, these kinds of cases may be settled by a court. Florida paternity issues stem from the questions of paternity between a father and minor child. Since this is a sensitive area of family law, you should always consult a family law attorney to pursue matters of paternity or paternity testing. In cases of divorce that involve the dissolutions of marital relationships that were not exclusive or consistent, establishing paternity may be prudent.

Why Paternity Is Important

Establishing or disputing paternity is useful in many other cases. The most common of these are divorce cases, during which establishing paternity can help a man get custody, access and/or visitation rights to a child. Whereas disputing paternity can help a man avoid paying child support. Results of paternity are also helpful in cases involving inheritance, child support, insurance, access, and division of rights and responsibilities over a child when the father and mother are not married. This can also be the basis for getting important legal paternity rights.

Let’s Continue The Conversation About Florida Paternity

You likely have more questions about your specific situation. I can help. Call my law firm, Mark E. Sawicki, P.A., at 954-928-9331 to schedule a consultation. You can also reach me by sending me a question via my contact form. I help clients in West Palm Beach and throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Brevard counties. As my office is a small firm, I work closely with my clients. My motto is that, with me, you are not just treated like family, you are family.