Jacksonville Paternity Attorney

Legal Assistance Establishing Paternity

Paternity is the legal finding that establishes a parental relationship between a man and a child. If you need help establishing paternity, a Jacksonville divorce lawyer from Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. can help. We have many years of experience representing both fathers and mothers in these matters. Paternity cases can help protect the rights of the individual to:

There are many reasons to establish paternity.

Some specific examples might include:

  • A mother wants to establish paternity to prove that a man who denies paternity and will not pay child support is actually the father of the child.
  • A woman states that a particular man is the father. This is untrue, but the man is now being harassed to pay child support by the state child support enforcement agency.
  • The mother of a child is denying visitation rights to the biological father and will not allow him to see his child.
  • A child needs to prove paternity for inheritance reasons.

Aside from genetic testing, there are many different ways to legally establish paternity in the state of Florida. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, marriage is one way. If a man is married to a woman at the time she gives birth to a child, that man is presumed to be the legal father of the child, although this can be contested in court.

Acknowledgement is another way to establish paternity, which can be accomplished by way of an unmarried couple signing a legal document at the hospital where the child is born.

Other avenues of establishing paternity include:

  • Administrative order
  • Court order
  • Legitimation

Defining "Legitimation"

Legitimation is a process through which the mother and natural father of a child get married after a child is born and then update the child's birth records via the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. An attorney will be able to decipher which option is best for your unique situation.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

If it is ambiguous who the legal father of a child is, there are many benefits to legally establishing paternity. While this might seem like an arduous process on the surface, it is actually fairly simple to handle, especially with the help of an attorney, and the benefits are numerous.

Listed below are some of the most commonly recognized benefits of determining paternity:

  • Only a legal parent has the right to obtain a child support order, obtain visitation or custody rights or have a say in the legal decisions regarding the child
  • The child will be able to know who their father is
  • The child can gain access to their father's health or life insurance, if applicable
  • The child will be able to learn about both sides of their family medical history
  • The father's name will be included on the child's birth certificate

DNA Testing to Prove Paternity

Paternity is proved by DNA testing. DNA tests can be inclusive or exclusive. Tests that are inclusive show how likely it is that a man is the father of a child. An inclusive test establishes paternity to a certainty between 99% and 99.99%. An exclusive test will prove that a man is not the father of a child with a certainty of 100%.

When parental rights need to be determined, child support established, or paternity disproved, we can help. Our legal team will use our knowledge of paternity law and our years of experience to resolve your paternity and resulting family related concerns, so contact us today.

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