Whether you're a mother in need of court-ordered child support payments, or you're a father trying to assert your right to spend time with your child, legally establishing paternity can be extremely important in child custody proceedings.
If paternity is an issue in your family law case, then it is a good idea to be represented by a family law attorney who is prepared to take the matter to court if need be, but also prepared to resolve matters in the most amicable and efficient way possible outside of court.
In Florida, the legal statute that deals with paternity is called Chapter 742. Under this statute, paternity can be established in a number of ways. First, there is the assumption that if the parents are married, then the husband is the father. However, in some cases involving married or formerly married spouses, the question of paternity comes up, and additional steps have to be taken to determine who the father is.
The easiest way to establish paternity is for the father to sign an admission stating that he is in fact the father. Once this kind of admission is signed, the mother can seek child support payments from the father.
If the man in question does not sign an admission, or if a father is trying to assert parental rights that are being denied by the mother, then the court may order DNA testing to determine whether the man is in fact the father of the child.
It goes without saying that when paternity is in question, emotions can run high. It is important, then, to have a level headed family law attorney on your side to protect your interests, whether the matter is resolved in court or out of court.