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South Florida Paternity Lawyer

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The word paternity refers to the state of being a father. Biologically, paternity is a very straightforward concept - the genetic, natural father of a child. Legally, however, paternity can be significantly more complex. Paternity refers to an individual’s legal status as a child’s father.

If you have paternity questions, contact us today by phone at 561-983-6707 or by filling out our online form. We do our very best to return your phone call the same day but at a minimum we promise to return your call within 24 hours. From our offices in Boca Raton, we provide family law services to individuals throughout the state of Florida, including the South Florida communities of Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County.

Establishing Paternity in Florida

Based on the circumstances surrounding the child’s birth, paternity may be established in a number of ways:

  • Automatic: When a married couple has a child, the legal assumption is that the husband of the woman giving birth is the father. In Florida, this is the only case in which paternity is assumed / automatic.
  • Acknowledgement: When two people are not married, they may choose to sign a legal document mutually acknowledging the status of the father. This document may be signed in the hospital at the time of birth or at a later time.
  • Legitimation : If the parents are not married at the time of birth but subsequently get married, paternity can be established. The couple simply must update the birth record with the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.
  • Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing: If there is any question as to who is the biological father of the child, genetic testing may be used. In Florida, this genetic testing is available free of charge. Once the biological father has been determined, a legally binding order of paternity takes effect.
  • Court Order: A judge may issue an order of paternity. This determination may or may not involve genetic testing.

Once paternity is established, both parents assume the legal rights and responsibilities of being a parent. Parental rights include the following: visitation, possible full or partial custody, and the right to make important legal decisions regarding the child. The legal responsibilities of being a parent are similar and include making decisions about the child, being a presence in his or her life, as well as the obligation to support the child financially.

Although the mother and the father have an enormous stake in the paternity of a child, it is the child who benefits most. In addition to the knowledge of who his or her parents are, establishing legal paternity gives the child greater access to financial security, insurance benefits, and information about family medical history.

Call Attorney Brian M. Moskowitz for Assistance!

If you are faced with the need to establish legal paternity, working with an experienced paternity attorney can make the process much easier. It can also help to ensure that your rights, as well as the rights of your child, are protected. The Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz can help you. Our family lawyers will guide you through the process while ensuring that your rights are protected. Contact us today by phone at 561-983-6707 or by filling out our online form. Phone calls received within normal business hours will get a same day response.