Florida Paternity Laws
When children are born during a marriage, there is a presumption that the children are the children of the legal father and mother. Section 382.013(2)(a) of the Florida Statutes indicates if the mother is not married at the time of the child's birth, the name of the putative father may not be entered on the child's birth certificate unless an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit is signed by both the mother and the person to be named the father. An unmarried biological father may file a notarized claim of paternity form with the Florida Putative Father Registry of the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health if he wishes to be notified of any adoption or dependency actions. If an unmarried biological father fails to take action or delays in taking action to establish his legal relationship to his child, his parental interest may be lost or greatly impacted by his inaction or delay.
On the other hand, there may be situations where an unmarried pregnant woman or mother may indicate that a man is the biological parent of her child, and the putative father may have reservations about the child's true paternity. There are some protections for a putative father under section 382.013(2)(a) of the Florida Statutes that indicates if the mother is not married at the time of the child's birth, the name of the putative father may not be entered on the child's birth certificate unless an affidavit is signed by both the mother and the person to be named the father.
If paternity is disputed our Miami Paternity Attorneys are available to arrange for DNA genetic testing to confirm parentage. Home paternity test kits are not considered valid evidence of paternity in the Florida family courts. Paternity testing in Miami family court cases must be arranged and conducted through the Dade County Family Court and the Child Support Services office. With the evolution of paternity testing, blood samples are no longer utilized for paternity testing in Florida child support cases. Instead, genetic testing for paternity is accomplished through DNA tests with samples collected with a cotton swab of the interior cheek area of the mouth of the mother, alleged father and child. The DNA lab will conduct the genetic testing of the samples and produce a report that will indicate the probability of paternity that the alleged father is the biological father.
Mothers should be aware that a delay in instituting a paternity action could result in a loss of child support payments. Section 61.30(17) of the Florida Statutes specifically provides that an initial award of child support will only be retroactive to the date when the parents did not reside in the same household together with retroactivity date not to exceed 24 months prior to the filing of the petition.
Our Florida paternity lawyers are available to file your child support complaint and arrange for DNA testing through the Child Support Services (CSS) office. If paternity is acknowledged by agreement or DNA paternity testing, our Miami Paternity Lawyers are also available to assist in implementing child custody schedules and negotiating or fighting for a fair award of child support.
Contact our Miami Paternity Attorneys
Our Miami paternity attorneys have assisted with DNA testing in many paternity cases as well as issues involving child support and time-sharing. Contact our team at 305-329-2560, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment to discuss your Dade County, Broward County, or Monroe County paternity issue. Our Miami paternity lawyers accept family law cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Monroe County.
Our Miami, Florida paternity law office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm and weekends and evenings by appointment. Consultations are available in person at our Miami paternity law office and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Galiano Street in Coral Gables, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat.