Establishing paternity is a critical part of acquiring parental rights, collecting child support, and doing your part for your child. If two parents were married at the time the child was born, it’s generally assumed by the court that the husband is the parent of the child. On the other hand, if the parents weren’t married, even if they were involved in a long-term relationship and the father is listed on the birth certificate, the father has no parental rights until paternity is actually established.
If you’re struggling with parental rights, whether because you’re a father who lacks rights to his child or you’re a mother who needs to establish paternity to collect child support, you need a lawyer who will help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights and needs. Contact us today at (727) 269-5300 to learn more about how we can help.
At Khonsari Law Group, we care about our clients. We understand that establishing child support and child custody, setting up timesharing, and dealing with all the responsibilities that come along with raising a child can be a highly emotional and often very difficult process for all parties involved. In our previous cases, we have been able to establish paternity, settle on reasonable rights between parents, and work with our clients to set up child support payments in keeping with the law.
What Are Florida Paternity Cases?
When it comes to establishing paternity under Florida law, we typically represent two types of clients: mothers who need to establish paternity to collect child support and who desire to establish a parenting plan, or fathers who want to establish paternity to have rights to their child, including timesharing, parental responsibility, and participation in important life decisions such as schooling or medical care.
In general, under Florida law, paternity cases arise when:
- The parents were unmarried at the time the child was born
- The child is not the biological offspring of the mother’s husband
- Paternity is unknown or suspected unknown by one or both parties
The circumstances above can come with significant emotional strain for parents and children. Our clients have pursued paternity cases in situations where the mother is attempting to deny paternity to maintain complete control over the child, and where a man has developed doubts about the actual father of the child.
Many birth parents fail to fully establish paternity in the absence of a marriage relationship because they’re still with their partner and believe that complications won’t arise. Unfortunately, if that relationship breaks down, it can leave both sides struggling to prove paternity at a time when emotions are running high and everyone wants to protect their individual rights.
Khonsari Law Group can represent the interests of either parent in these cases.
Who Is Involved in Paternity Cases?
To have parental rights under Florida law, a father must establish paternity. If the parents weren’t married at the time of the child’s birth, this goes beyond simply putting his name on the birth certificate. Some parents choose to sign an acknowledgment of paternity at the hospital when the child is born. This can help prevent complicated legal issues later. Other parents, however, choose to wait to establish paternity, particularly if it is unsure who fathered the child.
Most paternity cases are relatively straightforward to prove, despite their emotional strain. They’re conducted between the mother and suspected father of the child. Once biological paternity is established, it’s possible to proceed with establishing parental responsibility, timesharing, child support, and other rights. If paternity of the child is uncertain, the case may involve several potential fathers along with the mother of the child.
Establishing paternity as soon as possible is highly beneficial to the child. Often, the sooner the father is involved in the child’s life—at least financially—the better. For this reason, we try to streamline the process of establishing paternity as much as possible, allowing children more time with their fathers in their lives and ensuring that they’re getting the child support payments they deserve.
How Do Fathers Try to Avoid Paying Their Fair Share?
In some cases, fathers may attempt to avoid establishing paternity for as long as possible to avoid paying child support. They may fear that a child isn’t theirs and use this as a weapon against a former partner. Other fathers may attempt to minimize the amount of child support they owe by using underhanded tactics, including misrepresenting income, claiming financial hardship as a result of child support payments, and more.
Conversely, mothers may attempt to use the child as a weapon against potential fathers, withholding visitation or indicating that the child isn’t theirs in spite of knowledge of paternity. For this reason, it is critical to establish legal paternity, especially when there is not a marriage relationship in place between the mother and father. This simple legal step can go a long way toward protecting both parents later.
How Much Will a Paternity Lawyer Cost?
Establishing paternity often seems like a daunting—and potentially expensive—process. This is particularly true if, for example, the mother is attempting to deny paternity or if the father isn’t sure whether or not he’s actually the father of the child. With costs mounting, you don’t want paying for a lawyer to be at the top of your list of concerns.
At Khonsari Law Group, we’ll offer you a free consultation to hear your case and discuss how we can help. In many cases, we can offer very reasonable rates that will allow you to establish paternity for your child and work with your former partner to reach an agreement that both of you can live with.
Get the Legal Help You Need
Don’t navigate the complex, emotionally charged waters of a paternity case alone. If you’re involved in a paternity dispute, contact us today at (727) 269-5300 to set up your free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help streamline your case and make it easier for you to get the rights you need. Whether you’re seeking child support from the father of your child or you’re trying to establish paternity so that you have rights to your child, we’re here to help.