In Florida, a paternity action can be brought by either the mother to establish paternity of the child or by the potential father to establish his rights to visitation. When a paternity action is filed, the attorneys at PurLaw help our client understand their responsibilities and rights. Both parents have a right to be actively involved in their child’s life and a duty to provide support to raise the child.
Paternity cases frequently arise when an unmarried man wants to establish the paternity of a child so that he can pursue visitation rights for the child. They also commonly arise when a mother wants to establish paternity to pursue child support from the child’s father. Regardless of the reasons for filing a paternity case, establishing paternity provides parental rights to the child’s father and ensures that he will provide child support to help raise the child.
How Paternity Actions Work
A paternity action might be necessary if an unmarried father did not sign the birth certificate and both parents are unwilling to sign an acknowledgment of paternity. Either the mother or the potential father can file a paternity action in court. The court will then issue an order for the potential father and the child to undergo DNA testing. The DNA test involves taking a sample of DNA by using a swab to collect cells from the inside of the cheek of the potential father and the child. The sample will then be sent to the lab for testing. After the court has established paternity, the father can pursue his parental rights, and the mother can file for child support.
Whether you are an unmarried father and want to establish your parental rights or a mother and want to get a child support order from the likely father who has not acknowledged paternity, the attorneys at PurLaw can help. We can explain how the process works and file the petition to establish paternity for you. Call us today to request a consultation to learn more about your case and the steps that might be involved.