Resolving Paternity Disputes Throughout Broward County
Paternity law and DNA testing protect the child’s best interests and ensure that each parent’s rights are given due respect under the law.
At Stuart N. House, P.A., attorney Stuart House will protect your rights whether you are a biological mother seeking to establish paternity for child support purposes or are the father or alleged father in a paternity action in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, or surrounding areas.
Actions To Establish Paternity In Florida
Our law firm handles paternity actions on behalf of:
- Biological mothers seeking to collect support
- Biological fathers seeking child custody and time-sharing rights
- Alleged fathers seeking to challenge support obligations
- Paternity to collect from deceased father
- DNA testing to establish paternity
- Paternity rights and father’s rights
Biological mothers can immediately file a paternity action after the child is born and seek to collect back support for up to two years before filing. A paternity action can either be brought by the state or as a private action.
Attorney Stuart N. House will guide you through the process, providing you with the information and advocacy you need to protect your rights and your child’s best interests. He has been involved in several hundred paternity cases as a Florida Support Enforcement Prosecutor. He understands the law and knows what it takes to obtain the best possible results in court on your behalf.
How Florida State Establishes Paternity
Depending on the relationship between the child’s parents, paternity may be established in one of three ways:
- If the parents are already married, paternity is automatically established at birth.
- If the mother is unmarried at the time of birth but later marries the child’s father, paternity can be established when the marriage license is obtained.
- If neither is true, the mother can file a paternity action. The mother then works with a family law attorney to determine the best way to pursue paternity.
Sometimes, the attorney will work on the mother’s behalf to establish paternity. In other cases, a judge may determine paternity after the father appears in court. In either circumstance, the Florida Department of Revenue typically issues a test to determine whether or not the alleged father is indeed the child’s biological father.
If the genetic test indicates a match between the child’s and the alleged father’s DNA, the Department of Revenue issues an Administrative Order of Paternity, and the Florida Office of Vital Statistics adds the father’s name to the birth certificate.
Why Establishing Paternity Is Important
There are many reasons why establishing paternity is essential. Frequently, we think of paternity as an action filed only by mothers who want to learn the child’s father’s identity. However, paternity can also have benefits for biological fathers who wish to be involved in the life of their children.
Above all else, two key reasons why filing for paternity is vital:
- Paternity allows a child to receive the support they deserve. If a mother receives an administrative order from the court post-paternity action, she can receive child support from the child’s biological father. In other circumstances, the biological father may wish to exercise other legal rights, such as seeking parenting time with the child. Either way, the child gains access to a new resource that can help them live life more fully and receive the support they need.
- Paternity helps parents plan for the medical future of their child. Establishing paternity allows a child’s parents to access the biological father’s medical record. Medical records often contain useful information, such as any genetic disease the father has that they may have passed down to the child or medical developments later in life the child may also experience. Knowing these details can help parents plan adequate medical care for their children.
Paternity can play an integral role in the life of a child. However, paternity actions or claims are not always correct. In these cases, fathers must understand how to challenge a paternity action.
How Fathers Can Challenge Paternity
Attorney House has experience representing biological mothers and alleged fathers in paternity actions. It is essential to take immediate action to protect your rights if you are the alleged father of a child in Fort Lauderdale. If you do not challenge paternity at the outset, you may be barred from doing so later and liable for future long-term child support obligations.
If the court erroneously adjudicates paternity against you, it can cost you substantial sums of money over the long term. Attorney House will immediately act to protect your rights and impose an appropriate challenge to wrongfully determined support obligations.