A paternity action is a case reserved for unwed parents to legally establish the father’s rights, time-sharing (custody), and child support. Many fathers in Florida are not aware that until paternity is legally established, a father does not have any parental rights. If a mother denies a father time-sharing, the father must file for a Petition to Establish Paternity, Time-Sharing and Child Support to legally exercise time-sharing.
When making a determination on time-sharing, the judge will also consider the same factors as in determining time-sharing in divorce actions.
A simple DNA test can end a bitter dispute over paternity. A DNA test, however, is not the only part of establishing legal parentage. Paternity is the basis for a father’s rights and responsibilities. When a man is found to be the father of a child, he will be required to pay child support, and he can seek time-sharing (custody) rights.
We provide compassionate legal support to mothers who need to bring a paternity action. Most often, mothers bring these actions because they need to ensure the father of their child will be obligated to pay child support.
Many men seek help establishing legal parental rights because they want the legal right to a relationship with their children. Often, they have been active fathers who suddenly find themselves without recourse when the child’s mother decides to deny them visitation. When a paternal test shows that our client is the father of the child in question, we can help him obtain those rights so he can protect his relationship with his child.
Unless legal paternity is established, you may need to file a lawsuit to establish your paternity. If the mother resists or disputes your paternity action, you must be represented by a family lawyer who fully understands paternity cases and who aggressively advocates on behalf of clients.
The Office of William J. McClellan will stand by your side through any family need. Call now to get started on your case.