Paternity Issues for Fathers
Paternity for Fathers: First and foremost, the Mother has all the rights to the child until you go to Court and ask for them. Florida Statute 744.301 states the mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise.
So just do it, what are you waiting for…..?
Get that order from the Court. The Mother of your child can pack her bag and move to Alaska, if she wants. The only way to stop the Mother of your child from moving or to have any other say so in the child’s life is to go to the Courthouse and file a Petition asking for those rights. You must do this before she leaves with the child. I recommend that fathers establish their rights to their children as soon as possible. You can do this when the child is born, even if you are living with the mother.
In addition, it is really important to understand the difference between establishing paternity and obtaining your rights. Paternity can be established and child support awarded without the adjudication of rights to the Father. We see this all the time with Department of Revenue cases. The Department, on behalf of the mother, seeks child support from the father. This is usually done on the request of the mother or if the mother has sought some type of assistance which requires the state to go after the father for support.
Without going into the child support calculation, most people know that the more time you spend with your child, the less your child support will be. However, this is not the case when dealing with the Department. You must have a valid time-sharing plan, ratified by the Court, to get credit for the time you spend with the child. So if the Department is coming after you for support, and you spend time with your child, you must file a petition in the courthouse, and have it served on the mother, not the Department, requesting your rights to time-sharing with the child.
Florida Law on paternity is not easy and has difficult rules and procedures. Do not do it alone. I always offer a free consultation. There is no better way than sitting down face-to-face with me to learn what your rights are and to get what you deserve. If you are reading this I am sure you know someone, a friend or family member, that has a horror story regarding their own experience. That is why you should always consult an attorney that practices Divorces and Family Law and nothing else. Someone like me. I do not practice criminal law or elder law, or many other types of law. I am Florida Divorce and Family Law attorney that understands the laws completely, because I handle family law matters on a regular basis. I will always listen compassionately and attentively to your needs and concerns and provide you with the best advice for your particular case.