Florida Paternity Lawyer
Fort Lauderdale Paternity Lawyer
There are a variety of reasons that paternity needs to be established through the courts. If a mother is seeking child support, she must prove in courts that the man is the father’s child. Sometimes the father wishes to have some legal guardianship of the child or be allowed visitation rights. This also needs to be proven in the courts. No matter your case, Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. can help.
If a woman is seeking child support from a man or a man wishes to receive visitation rights, they must be able to establish his paternity to the courts. According to Florida law, there are five ways this can be done:
- Marriage: The child’s parents were married when child was born
- Acknowledgement: An unmarried couple agrees on paternity and signs a legal document after birth
- Administrative Order: The courts establish paternity based on genetic testing
- Court Order: A judge establishes paternity in court
- Legitimation: Mother and natural father get married; must update birth record through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.
Unless paternity is legally established, women will not be eligible for child support and men will not be able to have visitation rights.
Filing for Paternity
Men or women may seek to file paternity in the Florida courts in their efforts to receive child support or create a time-sharing schedule. They can petition to do so by using form 12.983(a). Individuals who are unfamiliar with legal terms or who are unsure how to procedure should contact family law attorney Gustavo E. Frances for legal assistance.
Note that for the paternity petition to go forward, the respondent must be properly notified. Depending on the answer or lack thereof from the respondent, the case may default, go uncontested, or be contested.
A default happens when the respondent fails to answer. In this case, you may file for a Motion of Default to set a final hearing. The other party must be notified.
When the petition goes uncontested—meaning that the respondent agrees with everything stated in the petition—you are able to set a final hearing. The other party must be notified.
If the respondent contests the petition—either through an answer or an answer and counterpetition—and disputes are not resolved, then you may file a Notice for Trial after completing all required documents. Only then may you seek to set your case for a final hearing. If a counterpetition was received, you have 20 days to answer.
Because you are not sure what route your case will take, contacting family lawyer Gustavo E. Frances can make the process go more smoothly. Having handled such cases before, he knows what steps to take to get your petition approved.
At any point, a man who had legal paternity rights to a child may come across new information that shows him to not be the father of a child. Under law, he is still required to any child support because he is listed as the legal father. In this case, he may wish to disestablish paternity. There are several criteria that need to be met in to be able to file to disestablish paternity. Gustavo E. Frances can help make sure that you are eligible to petition for disestablishment and help you win your case.
Contact Us Today
Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. is an award winning family lawyer located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He provides free initial consultations for paternity cases. Frances serves clients throughout Florida, including the counties of Miami Dade and Palm Beach. Contact his law office today toll-free at 1-800-860-6565 or complete the online form to see how he can help you.
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