Establishing Paternity in Florida

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Children deserve to have a legal father. When you establish paternity, you identify the legal father of the child. Paternity gives rights and benefits to the mother, the father and the child.

Some of the rights and benefits for the child are:

  • Information on family medical history
  • The child will know the identity of his or her father
  • The father’s name is on the birth certificate
  • Health or life insurance from either parent, if available
  • Support from both parents, like child support and medical support
  • Get Social Security or veteran’s benefits, military allowances and inheritances

How Do I Establish Paternity for My Child?

  • IF the parents are married when the child is born, paternity is established without having to take any action.
  • IF the parents are unmarried when the child is born, paternity can be established voluntarily by both parents in the hospital.
  • IF the mother is unmarried when the child is born, but later marries the child’s father, paternity can be established when applying for a marriage license.
  • IF paternity has not been established another way, it can be established with a legal order.

Can Children Express Preference in Florida Custody Proceedings?

Written by: Aaron Thomas; Article posted on:

When a custody dispute involves very young children, either the parents or a court will decide where they live. As children get older, however, they may prefer to live with one parent or the other. 

Overview of Custody Decisions in Florida. When separating parents can’t agree how to split parenting responsibilities and visitation time, the judge makes the decision for them. After hearing evidence from both parents, the court will develop a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, based on what is in the child’s best interest.

When Will the Court Consider a Child’s Preference? Unlike other states, in Florida, there is no particular age when courts must consider a child’s preference regarding which parent should have custody. Instead, the judge has the discretion to decide whether the child is intelligent enough to make a choice, whether the child understands the decision he or she is making, and whether the child has enough experience with each parent so that the decision is meaningful.