Establishing Paternity in Florida

When a minor child is born to married parents, the State assumes that the husband is the child's father and there is no need to establish paternity.

Under FL law, a child does not have a "legal father," however, if the child's parents are not married when the child is born. Thus, the parents have to establish paternity.

Florida policy concerning minor children is always based in the best interests of the child. In this case, anytime a child can have a meaningful and beneficial relationship with both parents, then such interests are met.

In Florida, paternity gives both parents the legal right to do the following:

  • get a child support order;
  • get a court order for shared time with a child; and
  • have a voice in decisions concerning a child.

Attorney for Paternity Tests in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Establishing paternity is important for many family structures. Not only does having two parents promote the best interest of a child, but it also builds stability and financial assistance to single parents who may not have the ability to sufficiently care for a minor child single-handedly.

The attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm are experienced legal counselors and negotiators who will provide guidance and advice on sensitive family matters such as establishing paternity. We represent clients attempting to establish paternity to make their families whole or to seek child support in Broward County, FL and the surrounding counties of Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Hendry County, and Collier County, Florida.

If you or someone you know is attempting to establish the paternity of a child, whether it is a married couple or a single parent, the attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm will guide you every step of the way.

Our office is centrally located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. If you live in Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida, and you need an experienced family law attorney, then contact our firm immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 for a face-to-face consultation.  

Broward County Establishing Paternity in Florida Information Center

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Establishing Paternity at Various Stages

Circumstance will often dictate when a parent decides to establish their child's paternity. Sometimes a family will choose to establish paternity years after the child is born. Paternity may be established at any given time, but the process may be different depending on if the parents attempt to establish paternity right after the child is born or later on in the child's life.

Establishing Paternity at Birth

If the parents are married when the child is born, then paternity is established automatically, without the parents having to take any further action.

If parents are not married when the child is born, then the child's father can fill out a form called a Paternity Acknowledgement Form, also known as a DH-511. Both parents are required to complete the form and sign it before a notary public usually provided by the hospital.

Mother Later Marries Father

If the mother has a child and later marries the child's father in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, then the husband becomes the child's "legal father." Although the father's name will not automatically be added to the child's birth certificate, the parents can add the father's name to the birth certificate by completing the Affirmation of Common Children Born in Florida form.

Establishing Paternity at Any Other Time

In Florida, if the parents are unmarried, they may establish paternity voluntarily. After a child's birth and anytime until he or she reaches the age of majority, the child's father may establish paternity. In order to establish paternity voluntarily, the father must fill out the Acknowledgment of Paternity form, also known as DH-2.

The form must be filled out and signed before two witnesses and a notary.

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Paternity Test and a Court Order

A person could also establish paternity by filing a civil action in court. Under these circumstances, the parties allow the judge to determine if paternity has sufficiently been established based on the evidence presented.

For the purposes of child support, if the court determines paternity in a child support order, then the court will test genetic samples from the mother, the child, and the man believed to be the father to establish paternity.

If the results prove that the man believed to be the father is the biological father, then the court will issue an Administrative Order of Paternity and inform the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics to add the father's name to the child's birth certificate.

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Additional Resources

Florida Child Support – Visit the Florida Department of Revenue to find out more information about how to establish paternity of a child born or living in the State of Florida. The Department of Revenue aims to provide fair and efficient tax and child support services to achieve the highest level of voluntary compliance.

742.10 F.S. – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature to find the full legislative language for the Florida Statute that governs establishing paternity for children born out of wedlock. The Statute discusses the procedure for raising the issue of paternity and jurisdiction of paternity actions adjudicated in Florida.

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Find an Attorney for Establishing Paternity in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know in Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida is attempting to establish their child's paternity call Bacchus Law Firm.

Our attorneys provide experienced hands on counsel when our clients need it the most. We have represented clients from all walks of life throughout the Miami Metropolitan area. In the past, our clients have had cases in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Hendry County, and Collier County, Florida.

Call (954) 500-5555 now to schedule a one-on-one, no obligations, consultation with our family law attorneys.

This Article Was Last Updated on Monday, May 15, 2017.

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