Every child has a biological mother and father, but if the parents are not married at the time of birth or the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate or on a legally binding state acknowledgement form, then certain legal obligations and rights in Florida may not apply unless and until paternity is established. Whether you are seeking to establishing your own paternity as a way of asserting rights to child custody and/or visitation, establishing another person’s paternity in order to pursue child support, or responding to an action to establish paternity, The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. in Miami is here to assist you in asserting your rights and defending your interests.
Establishing Paternity in Child Support Actions
Without establishing paternity in a situation involving two parents who were not married to each other at the time of a child’s birth, a custodial mother cannot seek a child support award from the father, even if he has informally acknowledged his paternity.
Prior to obtaining a child support award, the mother will have to either persuade the father to sign a Paternity Acknowledgement (DH-511) form or have a judge make an official determination of paternity. This is often done through genetic testing, the costs of which can be awarded to one or both parties in a paternity action. After paternity is established, the court can then order child support to be paid.
Establishing Paternity in Child Custody Actions
A father will often want to establish paternity in order to seek custody of a child and/or visitation rights. Without a determination of paternity, a court will generally not award custody and/or visitation rights to a father. Paternity is established in the same manner as described above.
Establishing paternity may also be necessary for purposes of inheritance or receiving social security or veterans’ survivor benefits.
How We Help in Establishment of Paternity Actions
At The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A., we work with parents, children, and parties who may be wrongly alleged to be parents in asserting their rights and defending their interests. Because we are full-service family law firm in Florida, we will not only work to establish paternity or defend against paternity claims but also work with you on all other related matters including child support, child custody, and any modifications or termination actions that arise in the context of child support and child custody.
Legal Help in Your Florida Paternity Matter
No matter your Florida family law matter, The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. in Miami can help. Contact our office today to set up a consultation with a trusted and caring family law attorney.
Child custody decisions are based on the court’s determination of the best interests of child. We will work to protect your relationship by making your best arguments in negotiation and at trial.
Florida law provides guidelines on how much support must be paid based on several factors. We will make sure that your financial interests and needs are fairly presented in all matters.
How We Can Help In Your Matter
Florida law regarding child custody and support can be confusing, and judges have significant discretion. But help is available. At The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A., we will guide you in the following area of family law::
Child Support Payments
Modification of Support / Custody
You are Not Alone in This
Many parents attempt to go it alone when it comes to child custody and support matters, but this approach can have disastrous consequences. Custody and support determinations generally stay in place until a child reaches age 18 – although either party may petition for modification – meaning the decisions that a judge makes can have an enormous financial and relational impact for years.
Because Florida law is complex, it is in your interest to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney. The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. is here to help you in any way we can.