Fort Lauderdale Paternity Lawyer
Serving Fathers in Pompano Beach & Beyond
Paternity law and DNA testing protect the best interests of the child and ensure that each parent's rights are given due respect under the law.
Our Fort Lauderdale paternity attorney 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 a period of up to two years prior to filing. A paternity action can either be brought by the state or as a private action.
Our Pompano Beach paternity lawyer will guide you through the process, providing you with the information and advocacy you need to protect your rights and the best interests of your child.
Attorney Stuart N. House 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 of the child's parents, paternity may be established in one of three ways:
If the parents are already married, paternity is automatically established at the time of 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 of the above 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 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 identity of the child's father. However, paternity can also have benefits for biological fathers who wish to be involved in the life of their child.
Above all else, there are two key reasons 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 child.
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 need to understand how they can challenge a paternity action.
How Fathers Can Challenge Paternity
Our attorney has experience representing both biological mothers as well as 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 you may be 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. Our Fort Lauderdale paternity lawyer will take immediate effective action to protect your rights and impose an appropriate challenge to wrongfully determined support obligations.
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