Skilled Paternity Lawyers in Florida

Stuart, Florida Law Firm Offers Assistance in Determining Paternity

When a child is born to married parents, he has a legal father and all the accompanying rights and benefits. However, if the mother is not married when the child is born, the child does not have a father in the legal sense until paternity is established.

Some of the rights and benefits available to a child with established paternity include:

  • Information on family medical history
  • Information about the identity of the child's father, whose name will be on the child's birth certificate
  • Coverage under either parent's health and life insurance policies, if available
  • Child support, medical support, Social Security or military benefits, military allowances
  • Inheritance

Paternity gives both parents the legal right to file for child support, court-ordered visitation or custody, and a voice regarding legal decisions made for the child.

Establishing Paternity in Florida

In Florida, there are five ways to establish paternity:

  • Marriage – the parents are married to each other at the time of the child's birth
  • Acknowledgement of paternity – an unmarried couple signs a legal document establishing paternity in the hospital when the child is born or at a later time
  • Administrative order based on genetic testing – paternity is established through a genetic test
  • Court order – a judge orders paternity in court
  • Legitimation – the mother and natural father marry after the child is born and update the child's birth record through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics

What is Genetic Testing?

Also known as DNA testing, genetic testing is a scientific test used to determine the identity of a child's father. When a genetic test is requested through an administrative order or by a judge in court, an appointment is made at an independent laboratory that contracts to provide such services with the state of Florida. Skin cells are collected from the inside cheek area of the mouth of the adult being tested as well as the child.

If you are going through a divorce in Stuart, Florida and are struggling with paternity issues, the Colter Law Group can help walk you through the process. Contact our lawyers online or call (772) 888-0883 to obtain a consultation regarding paternity issues.