Family Law Articles - Florida Law
How to Establish Paternity in Florida
Posted on December 5, 2017
When you establish paternity, you are identifying the legal father of a child. If a couple is unmarried at the time of a child’s birth, paternity must be established voluntarily or through a court order.
When Paternity is Voluntarily Established by the Parents
A couple can sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form acknowledging the alleged father signing the form is the child’s legal father, swearing under oath the information is accurate. The document becomes final 60 days after it has been signed or after the date of a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to the child in which the witness is a party, whichever one happens first.
When Paternity Is Established Through a Court Order
If no voluntary agreement has been established, the mother or the alleged father may go through the courts to determine paternity. Under Florida Law, the persons or agencies that can help start the process for you include:
- The child’s mother
- The alleged father
- A legal representative on behalf of the child
- The Florida Department of Child Support Services
Keep in mind that a government agency establishing paternity can only make orders regarding child support. Other orders such as a parenting plan requires the mother and alleged father to go to court.
How to Begin Your Paternity Case
A paternity case should begin in the circuit court for the county in which either the mother or alleged father resides. A family court judge has the authority to make decisions regarding paternity cases and may order a DNA test for the mother, child, and supposed father. A judge may also create orders for paternity matters such as:
- Child support
- Health insurance
- Decision making for the child, also known as parental responsibility
- Time-Sharing, provided both parties agree
- Amount to be paid for attorney’s fees and court costs by either parties
We Represent Parents Seeking to Establish Paternity
If you need help establishing paternity to collect child support payments, secure rights to see your children, or with finding solutions for disputed custody claims, you can rely on the Orlando paternity lawyers of The Roberts Family Law Firm for aggressive legal service. Call us today at 407-426-6999 or fill out the online form provided on this page and one of our family law attorneys will contact you as soon as possible.