In Florida, children born during marriage are presumed to be the children of the husband and the wife, and all parental rights and obligations belong to the husband and wife.
However, a child born to a mother and father who are not married is not automatically presumed to be the unmarried father's child, and all parental rights and obligations, including the right to custody or visitation and the obligation to support the child, do not automatically belong to the unmarried father.
The purpose of a paternity case is to determine the natural and legal father of a minor child and to award parental rights.
Determination of Paternity
The determination of paternity is important since the court cannot issue an order against the father unless paternity is established. If paternity of a child is disputed a request to the Court can be made to order DNA testing to determine the paternity of the child at issue, once a Petition for Paternity is filed with the Court by either party. If paternity is established based upon the outcome of the DNA test, then the parties can proceed to resolve the issues related to a paternity action, i.e., child custody, visitation and child support.
For answers to these questions and more, get in touch with a qualified family law attorney in Citrus County Florida by calling the Law Office of Steven D. Fichtman today!