Paternity

Paternity concerns the birth of a child born out of wedlock. When a child is born out of wedlock, Florida statute 742 generally governs proceedings concerning the minor child.

My name is Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law, and for over 35 years I have handled all types of sensitive family law situations. I represent men and women throughout South Florida who need help with paternity issues.

Contact my Boca Raton or Fort Lauderdale offices today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique needs, questions and concerns.

What Are Basic Rights for the Mother?

When a child is born to a couple who are not marred, the mother is considered to be the primary custodian. This means that the mother initially will have far more rights concerning the child than the father will. The father shall essentially have no rights until such time as there has been an adjudication of paternity in the courts.

If there has been no court order entered on paternity, this means that the mother is not subject to any statutes that restrict relocation, and she is free to move and relocate.

Paternity of the minor child can involve a multitude of complications when a woman gives birth to a child during an intact marriage, and the biological father is not the husband. The biological father who seeks to adjudicate himself as the father, when the husband and wife object to his claims of paternity, will run up against a wall when it comes to asserting his parental rights.

How Does a Father Win Rights in a Paternity Action?

When a biological father files a paternity action, and the mother is married to someone else, the court is required to conduct what is known as a Privette hearing. An evidentiary hearing is required in order for the court to determine if in fact is is in the best interests of the child to allow the biological father to establish his paternity through DNA tests and assert his father's rights.

In other words, if the husband objects, and the court finds that his objection is in the best interests of the child, the biological father's claims for DNA testing will be denied. This of course is a general statement regarding the law, and each case much must be resolved and decided on its own individual facts and circumstances. I am a Boca Raton paternity lawyer who can help you with any of these complex family dynamic and legal issues.

What Is Legitimacy in Florida?

There is a distinction between legitimacy and paternity. Legitimacy is when a child is born during the mother's marriage, regardless of whether or not the father of the child is her husband or somebody else. Paternity, of course, is the declaration from the court, establishing the identity of the child's biological father.

There is no six-month residency requirement in order to file a paternity action in Florida, as there would be for a divorce. A paternity action may be filed in the county where either the father resides or the mother resides. You are also entitled to have a jury trial in a paternity case if you request it. This is a major distinction between a paternity proceeding and a divorce proceeding. There is no right to trial by jury in a divorce proceeding.

Once there has been an adjudication of paternity, the Florida statutes regarding time sharing and child support are applied to the case, just as if the parties were married. Contact Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law — Serving Palm Beach County and All of South Florida

Call or email my office to schedule your free initial consultation if you have more questions or need help with a paternity petition or issue. Call 954-229-1660 or my cell at 954-295-9222. I maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your schedule and to discuss your family law issues.