Statute of Limitation

A statute of limitations is essentially a time limit for the courts. Most people association a statute of limitation with crime, but there’s also a limitation for establishing paternity. The statute of limitations is a deadline for you, as the father, to claim paternity. Once the deadline is up you’ll be barred from filing for paternity action.

It’s imperative you understand the statute of limitations if you want to establish paternity. If you wait too long, you could be prevented from being the legal father. This means you can’t be listed on your child’s birth certificate and the financial obligations of the child will fall on the mother. If you desire to establish paternity of a child, it’s imperative you read the following article thoroughly.

Attorney for Statute of Limitation on Paternity in Florida

It’s important to understand the statute of limitations of paternity before attempting to establish it. Find more information by contacting Bacchus Law Firm. Attorney Nisha E. Bacchus is proficient in all types of family law such as paternity. She can help you understand how to claim paternity of a child within the allotted time frame.

Contact Bacchus Law Firm to learn more about how to establish or disestablish paternity. Our managing attorney, Nisha E. Bacchus, can come up with a plan for you. Call us now at (954) 500-5555 to set up a free consultation. Bacchus Law Firm accepts clients throughout the Broward County area such as Coral Springs, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines. 

Overview of Statute of Limitation for Paternity 


What’s the Statute of Limitation for Paternity in Florida?

Paternity determination has a statute of limitations in the state of Florida. It applies to mothers, fathers, and children who have not established paternity yet. If the child already has a legal father listed, then the child will already paternity has already been claimed. Even if the legal father isn’t biologically related to the child.

Florida Statute § 95.11 states that within four years there should be “an action relating to the determination of paternity, with the time running from the date the child reaches the age of majority.” The age of majority in Florida is 18 years old.

Basically, this means you cannot file a paternity action once the child is 22 years old. If the statute of limitations has passed, the court will prohibit you from establishing paternity.


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Ways to Establish Paternity in Florida

Florida offers multiple ways for you to establish paternity for your child. The traditional way is to have the father sign the birth certificate at the actual birth. However, you can also do one of the following to claim paternity of your child.

  • Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity – You and the mother could sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. You can access the form by going to your Circuit Court clerk where you can sign and notarize it. Signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form gives you all the legal rights and responsibilities which comes with parenthood. Once 60 days have passed, neither you or the mother will be able to revoke the acknowledgement.

  • Paternity Through Legitimization – Another way to establish paternity is through marriage. If the mother wasn’t married during the birth, then there is no legal father listed. Marrying the child’s mother would label you as the child’s legal father through a process called legitimization. All you would need to do is add a written statement to your marriage license or fill out an Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida Form (or a DH-743A form).

  • Genetic Testing – In some cases, the Florida Department of Revenue will assist with establishing paternity by supplying a genetic test. The DNA test will require biological samples which are sent to an independent laboratory. If it’s determined you’re the father of the child, then the Department of Revenue will issue an administrative order to notify the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. The Office of Vital Statistics will add your name to the birth certificate making you the legal father of the child.

  • Filing a Paternity Action – Some choose to bring a paternity action to court. You can file for a paternity action, so you’re declared the legal father of the child. The court will require you to provide evidence that you’re the biological father such as genetic testing results. If the judge agrees you should be the legal father, your name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.

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Additional Resources 

Statute of Limitations for Paternity – Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to learn more about the limitations surrounding paternity. Access the statute to learn when you should file for paternity action and limitations for other civil matters.

Establishing Paternity – Visit the official website of the Department of Revenue to learn more about how they can help you establish paternity. Learn the benefits of being a legal father, what paternity gives you the right to do and different scenarios on how to claim paternity.


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Lawyer for Statute of Limitations for Paternity in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you wish to establish yourself as the legal father of a child, it’s important you gain legal representation. You may need to follow certain procedures to properly claim paternity of a child. If the mother opposes, you could find yourself in court. That is why it’s better you’re prepared with an experienced family law attorney. 

Contact Nisha E. Bacchus to speak to a lawyer with years of paternity law experience. She can overlook the situation to see what your best options are. Call us now at (954) 500-5555 to set up a free consultation. Ms. Bacchus accepts clients throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area including Hollywood, Pembroke Pines and Pompano Beach.


This article was last update on June 6, 2019.

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