Establishing Paternity in Jacksonville
In Florida, the only way that a father or mother can legally prove paternity for a child born to unmarried parents is to go through the court system, even if the father is listed on the birth certificate and holds the child out as his own.
Sharon Johnson has nearly 20 years of experience helping our clients resolve paternity issues such as: child support, relocation, child custody, and visitation.
Whether you are a father who would like to secure your parental rights or a mother who would like to collect child support, we can help you bring a “petition to establish parental relationship” with the courts.
Sharon serves as President on the Board of the Family Nurturing Center of Florida, which provides supervised time sharing and monitored exchanges for families in crisis.
Florida Paternity Information
Florida courts presume legitimacy of a child born during a marriage. If a mother is married at the time of the birth of her child the name of her husband shall be entered on the birth certificate as the father of the child, unless paternity has been determined otherwise by a court. When a child is born during a marriage the legal duty to support that child rests with the parties to the marriage. A husband or a wife may contest the legitimacy but must overcome the presumption of legitimacy.To establish paternity, any woman who is pregnant, or has a child, and any man who has reason to believe that he is the father of a child, or any child, may bring proceedings to determine the paternity of the child when paternity has not been established. In any proceeding to establish paternity the court may require the child, mother, and alleged father to submit to scientific tests. A determination of paternity for a child out of wedlock requires the father to pay child support, and also gives the father time-sharing rights.
A man who believes he is the biological father of an illegitimate child, a child born out of wedlock, is permitted to claim paternity of the child by filing with the Florida Putative Father Registry. This claim of paternity may be filed at any time prior to the child’s birth. However, it cannot be filed after a petition to terminate his paternal rights have been filed with the court. An unmarried biological father who wishes to maintain his paternal rights should file with the Florida Putative Father Registry because failure to do so may result in the termination of those rights.
To disestablish paternity, a petition must be served on the mother or other legal guardian of the child, and must include an affidavit, a sworn statement made by the father, that there is newly discovered evidence to support that he is not the biological father of the child. Along with the affidavit the father must also provide biological testing to support his petition to disestablish his paternal rights.
Jacksonville paternity attorney Sharon B. Johnson is available for consultations regarding paternity issues at (904) 306-9926.