Winter Park Paternity Attorney
Most parents assume that at the moment of their child’s birth, they automatically have parental rights over their child. While this is true for the child’s mother, it is not always true for the child’s father. Parenthood is implied for a mother, but a father must establish paternity, contact our Winter Park paternity attorneys for more information and assistance today.
What Is Paternity?
The Florida Department of Revenue’s website describes paternity as “fatherhood.” To be more precise, paternity refers to the establishment of legal parentage over a child, including the right of a father to:
- Seek custody of his child;
- Get a court order for visitation; and
- Contribute input regarding other important decisions in the child’s life, such as healthcare treatment or education.
Paternity is not just important for a father who wants to have rights in regards to his child, however; paternity is also important for the child, too. By establishing paternity, a father provides his child with the knowledge of the identity of their father, the right to seek support from both parents (like healthcare coverage and child support), and the right to certain federal and state benefits, like Social Security.
How to Establish Paternity
For parents who are married and who have a child together, paternity is automatically established. However, parents who are not married can still establish paternity. Outside of being married at the time of a child’s birth, other ways to establish paternity are:
- Signing an acknowledgement of paternity form, which both parents can do at a child’s birth;
- Genetic testing, which can be court ordered at a (potential) father or mother’s request;
- A court order; or
- Legitimization, which refers to the process of a mother and father getting married after the child is born, and then updating the child’s birth certificate.
Your Rights to Establish Paternity
Whether you are a mother who believes that your child’s father is the natural father and want to establish this legally, or you are a father who wants to establish the legal rights that come with fatherhood, you have the right to establish paternity. Again, you and the child’s other parent can sign an acknowledgement of paternity form. However, if paternity is uncertain or contested, you can seek an order from a judge to establish paternity or order genetic testing to prove fatherhood.
Contact the Winter Park Paternity Attorneys at Cotter & Zelman, P.A.
If you have questions about establishing paternity in Winter Park or surrounding areas, the experienced paternity attorneys at the offices of Cotter & Zelman, P.A. are ready to assist you. We understand how important it is that you establish paternity, for both you and your child. Contact us today at 407-629-4711 for a free initial consultation.