Boca Raton Family Law Attorneys Assisting Clients in Paternity Matters
At Weiner & Weiss, LLC, we handle a full range of family law matters on behalf of clients in southeast Florida, including cases involving questions of paternity. Establishing or challenging paternity is a major decision for parents that will affect a child in profound ways. We appreciate the seriousness of the issue, and work tirelessly to obtain the right result for our client.
Benefits of Establishing Paternity
Establishing paternity is very important for a child. First, the child receives the emotional benefit of knowing the identity of his or her parents, and it often takes the income and resources of both parents to fairly support a child. Also, establishing paternity legally entitles the child to the same rights and privileges as those of a child whose parents are married, including:
- Legal documentation identifying both parents
- The names of both parents on the child's birth certificate
- Access to the health histories of both the mother and father for medical care and treatment of the child.
- Health or life insurance from either parent, if available
- The right to inherit from either parent
- The right to receive Social Security, veteran's benefits and military allowances, if available
Once paternity is established, a court can make orders for child support, child custody, time-sharing, health insurance and reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses. Without establishing paternity, however, a court cannot make orders regarding these issues. If one parent needs child support and the other will not pay voluntarily, the court will not be able to order child support until paternity is established.
Establishing Paternity in Florida
In Florida, a child does not have a legal father if the child's mother is not married when the child is born, which means legal paternity must be established in one of the following ways:
- Acknowledgement of Paternity - The unmarried couple signs a legal document in the hospital when the child is born, or later.
- Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing - Paternity is ordered if a genetic test proves fatherhood.
- Court Order - A judge orders paternity in court.
- Legitimation - The mother and natural father get married to each other after the child is born and update the birth record through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.
At Weiner & Weiss, LLC, our family law attorneys in Boca Raton have represented both mothers and fathers in paternity actions, helping clients prove or exclude paternity based on the circumstances at hand.
Learn More about Paternity from an Experienced Florida Family Lawyer
Establishing paternity can be a sensitive matter, especially when paternity is yet unknown or contested. If you live in Broward or Palm Beach County and need assistance with a paternity issue, please contact Weiner & Weiss, LLC to speak with an experienced Florida family law attorney. Based in Boca Raton, we primarily serve southeast Florida's coastal communities.