Orlando Paternity Lawyer
Paternity issues arise when unmarried couples have a child. Unlike those children born during a marriage, the father of a child born outside of marriage does not automatically enjoy any rights or obligations of parenthood. Many unsuspecting fathers incorrectly believe that being named on a child’s birth certificate confers the rights of fatherhood. Unfortunately, unmarried dads have no valid claim to custody or visitation and no obligation to provide support. In Orlando, fathers and mothers can initiate the process to establish paternity – to legally determine or confirm the identity of the baby’s father. If you are a caring father seeking to provide protection, benefits and gain a proper place in your child’s life; or, if you are a concerned mother wanting to obtain support for your child – we can help. We are different than other paternity lawyers. We do not require a large deposit to speak with us. We provide FREE phone consultations and FREE in-office consultations. Unlike other family lawyers that will not take questions over the phone, we consider it a privilege to guide you during difficult times. Call us now or use the online form to get answers without any cost or obligation.
We can begin a Florida paternity case to establish the biological and legal father of any child and to award parental rights. This important legal action gives the court the ability to enforce child support obligations of the father as well as to order child custody or visitation for the father. Once we file a petition for paternity, the other party may either accept or dispute paternity of the child. If contested, the court has the power to order DNA testing. These simple tests can reliably answer the question of “who is the father” and allow the parties to move forward. If fatherhood is proven then the court has the ability to order appropriate child custody, support and visitation (time-sharing).
When the issue of testing arises, there are several options available to the court and the parties. Most often a blood test will be ordered and arrangements will be made for the parties and the child to give blood samples. One common, accurate test involves human leukocyte antigen studies (HLA). Florida judges will consider the donor to be the father if the testing shows that the likelihood is equal to or greater than 95% probability. Another test compares the genetic make-up of the child to the parents. A child will inherit genetic characteristics of the biological father so this examination also provides solid proof of paternity – acceptable to family law judges.
At times, the Department of Revenue will institute proceedings against the assumed father. The State of Florida has an interest in insuring that biological fathers take responsibility for the support of their children. If the assumed father does not contest paternity that issue will be decided against him and child support obligations will be established. Of course, that will also entitle the father to visitation.
There are times when men are wrongfully ordered to pay support. In those cases, we can file a Petition to Disestablish Paternity. As it name implies, this is the proper process to “undo” a finding of paternity. This situation often occurs when the man simply assumes he was the father and later learned he had been deceived.
Get FREE Answers To Your Paternity Questions Today
We believe that people struggling with issues of paternity deserve personal attention. You may call to speak with one of our attorneys without charge or obligation. If you prefer, you may complete our online form to Get FREE Answers To Your Paternity Questions Today.