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Introduction to Paternity Law
If father and mother are not married when their child is born, then paternity is not automatically established. In this situation, the mother is the natural guardian of the child and the father typically has no legally enforceable rights regarding the child. This is true even if the parties live together and even if the father signed the child’s birth certificate. If the Mother does not agree to allow the Father to see the child then the Father should hire an Orlando paternity lawyer to file a petition to establish paternity and request a paternity test, if the Mother will not stipulate to paternity.
Consult with an Experienced Paternity Lawyer
Every child deserves to have both a father and a mother in their lives. Chapter 742 Florida Statutes provides families with the legal ability to do so by allowing parents to file a petition to establish paternity of a minor child. Contact the Spence Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
The next step after paternity is established is deciding who will make decisions about the child’s future. Florida law typically provides for shared parental responsibility, which means both parents must consult with each other before making big choices affecting their kids’ lives. But there are cases where one parent can get ultimate decision-making power over certain areas of the child’s life, like education, medical or religious decisions.
Ultimate Decision Making
The parent who has such ultimate decision-making authority, which could be the mother or the father, has the decision-making power over significant aspects of the child’s life, which could include education, medical care, and other important life circumstances.
Spending Time with Your Child
Timesharing, which overlaps with child custody, means the schedule that the parents follow that dictates when they each spend time with their child, will also be decided upon by the judge. Parental responsibility and timesharing are two of the essential areas where a paternity attorney can help clients get the best outcome. There are complex statutes and rules that determine parental responsibility and timesharing. The judge will use the factors outlined in the Florida paternity statutes while considering the presentation of the facts of your case to make a decision.
What the Court Will Do:
- Legally Determine the Paternity of the Child
- Allow Both Parents to Obtain Medical & Educational
- Information of the Child
- Establish Parental Responsibility & Decision Making Authority
- Create a Timesharing Plan for the Child
- Award Child Support
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