A paternity case arises when two unwed individuals have a child together and either legal paternity needs to be established or visitation and child support need to be established. Often time unwed parents will remain together after the birth of the child or would come to an oral agreement regarding the welfare of their child. However, most of the time one of the two parents will not abide by the oral agreement or unilaterally changes the oral agreement. When this occurs one of the parents may want to seek legal counsel to petition the Court to enter an order solidifying his/her rights and obligations.
Unlike in a child born into a marriage, the biological father of a child is born out of wedlock is not necessarily presumed to be the legal father. A biological father may need legal counsel to protect his right to be involved in his child’s life. Mothers may need to fight for financial, emotional, and moral support from the father.
By establishing paternity, fathers can:
For mothers, the benefits of establishing paternity may include:
Our family lawyers have helped many families in Sarasota and Manatee counties with paternity cases, ensuring the rights of mothers, fathers, and children are protected. Our attorneys take their time to fully understand each case and create an individualized case strategy based on each client's family needs.
There are several ways for parents to establish paternity:
If the biological parents do not marry, or paternity is not acknowledged at the hospital after child birth, then the parties must get a Court Order of Paternity. Neither the father nor the mother has to wait until the relationship deteriorates to protect their parental rights and the rights of the child/ children. In fact, solidifying both parent's rights before a potential relationship breakdown can not only protect both parents, but most importantly, protect the child/children from unnecessary stress if the relationship between the parents does unfortunately deteriorate. Solidifying the parental rights and obligations of both parents early on is often quicker, much less expensive, and significantly less stressful than waiting until negative emotions run high between the parents.
Unwed parents preventing the other parent from seeing his/her child or children:
If a relationship between two unwed parents deteriorates, one parent may prevent contact or interaction between either parent and the child/children. In such a case, one parent may need to pursue an establishment of paternity through the Courts in order to establish certain rights, including having a parenting plan and a time-sharing schedule with his/her children.
It is important for both the father and the mother to understand that being the biological father of a child does not necessarily establish obligations or provide inherent rights to the father as with a married father. Our paternity lawyers can help develop an individualized strategy to protect your parental rights whether you are still in a relationship with the other parent or the relationship has ended.
Defend your rights, protect your children.
Following a Final Judgement or Order, a party may intentionally or unintentionally fail to abide. Thus requiring the other side to seek enforcement of the Court’s original order. Our family attorneys have experience helping clients with the enforcement of previously obtained court orders.
Sometimes a party may be unable to comply with court orders. The Court may be more understanding of a party who did not follow an order because they had no ability or because compliance was impossible, than if the noncompliance is found to be willful or intentional. Our family attorneys can help you make your case.
In Florida child support is a right of the children, however establishing and modifying child support can become a complex matter. Our attorneys are very familiar with Florida child support laws and can guide you through this process, ensuring that each parent's obligation is proper and fulfilled in a timely manner.
When an important life change happens such as an offer for a better job, or a divorce, one parent may need to move more than 50 miles away from the other parent. If the parents are unable to agree on the relocation, the moving parent may need to file an petition to relocate to obtain permission from the court by proving that the move is in the best interest of the child, our family lawyers can help you make your case.
If you have received a Legal Notice of Intent to Relocate, contact our offices immediately as you have a very limited time to respond and oppose the relocation. A parent may seek to relocate with the best interest of their child at heart, however sometimes a parent may want to move away in an attempt to minimize the child's contact with the other parent. Our family attorneys can help you protect your relationship with your children .
It is very important to be properly represented at domestic violence injunctions as accusations or judgments can have a significant impact on your divorce, child custody or paternity case, your employment, and future. Whether the threats are verbal or emotional, judges take these actions very seriously. Whether you are the victim or the defendant our family lawyers have extensive experience dealing and defending domestic violence cases.
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