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Options for establishing paternity

If you are married when you give birth to a child in Florida, your current spouse is considered the other legal parent of the child. However, things get complicated if you are not married, even if you are in a committed relationship and your partner says he or she is the baby's other parent. The law does not immediately recognize that person as the other parent, so you must take steps to secure paternity or parental rights, in the case of a same sex marriage.

The Florida Legislature notes when a child is born outside of a legal marriage, both parents can sign an affidavit that states they are the biological or legal parents of a child. This document must be signed by both people and notarized. You must also include your social security numbers on the form. It then must be filed with the clerk of court. Do note that you have 60 days to void the document. After that time period lapses, the court will legally establish parental rights. To change it after that, you would have to go to court.

The court may also request a paternity determination if it is not voluntarily given. Florida Health states that if an acknowledgement of paternity is not signed by both you and the child's other parent, then the court may order DNA testing to determine paternity. Typically, in such a situation, the person found to be the biological father will have to pay all court and testing costs. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Law Office of Philip J. Schipani
1605 Main Street, Suite 608
Sarasota, FL 34236

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