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Melbourne, FL Paternity Attorneys Help Establish Fatherhood

Assisting mothers and fathers with asserting parental rights

Every child deserves a meaningful, loving relationship with a father. While that’s not always possible, the relationship has no chance at all when the father has no legal recognition, no duties and no rights. Florida law provides means by which a father, a mother or a child may establish paternity with all of its responsibilities and privileges. The family law attorneys at Tucker Mitnik, P.A. help clients petition the court for a finding of paternity, which confers benefits to the parents and the child.

How you can establish paternity for a child in Florida

Florida law provides five ways to establish legal paternity:

  • Marriage — A child born within a marriage is legally the husband’s child.
  • Acknowledgement — Both parents sign a legal document at the hospital when the child is born or afterward.
  • Administrative order — If a DNA test proves fatherhood, the Florida Department of Revenue issues a paternity order.
  • Court order — Either the parent or the child may petition the court to establish paternity. The court most likely will order genetic testing.
  • Legitimization — The father marries the mother after the child is born and updates the birth record.

How your child can benefit by establishing paternity

Under Florida law, a child does not have a legal father if the mother is unmarried when the child is born. By establishing paternity, you ensure a number of basic rights for your child, such as:

  • Knowledge of the father’s identity
  • Access to the father’s family medical history
  • Having a father’s name on the child’s birth certificate
  • Health insurance and life insurance coverage under a father’s plan
  • Child support payments
  • Inheritance rights

Finally, children who have the prospect of being adopted by a stepparent may request that the legal father terminate his parental rights, clearing the way for the adoption.

How parents benefit by establishing paternity of their children

Mothers establish their right to receive child support payments. An unwed mother who wishes to give her child up for adoption may get a release from the legal father.

Fathers may get a court order for parenting time and decision-making authority that will allow them to participate fully in their children’s lives.

Contact Tucker Mitnik for legal counsel on establishing paternity in Melbourne, FL

If you wish to pursue action to establish paternity, the family law attorneys at Tucker Mitnik, P.A. can help. To schedule a consultation, call 321.392.5239 or contact our Melbourne office online.

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