One of the most important tasks that unmarried couples must do when they have a baby is to establish paternity. Paternity establishment holds numerous advantages for both parents and the child.
Establishing Paternity in Florida
There are many ways to establish paternity in the state of Florida. For an easier and affordable experience, you should contact a paternity lawyer to assist you with the overall process.
How Is Paternity Established?
Paternity can be established by declaring the father on the child’s birth certificate (if he is present during the birth of the child). Most states allow fathers to sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
If unwed parents do not place a paternal name on the birth certificate, they have the option of preparing a paternal statement. This form can be found on most states’ court websites.
Otherwise, unmarried couples may prepare an informal document that includes basic information about both parents and the child’s birth. This informal document should be signed in the presence of a notary and filed with the nearest family court.
Petition to Establish Paternity
If the mother is unwilling to indicate the father, a man who believes that he is the father may petition with the courts. To do this, he would need to locate the state that has jurisdiction in the case. It is usually the child’s birthplace/state and/or the mother’s state of residence that has jurisdiction. Once the petition is filed, the mother will receive a court order requiring a response. If she continues to deny the father, DNA testing and other means may be taken in order to prove paternity. In most cases, it is advisable to file a petition with the court as soon as the baby is born, as a way to prevent any drastic measures taken by the mother, such as placing the child up for adoption.