If a married woman gives birth to a child in the state of Florida, her husband is automatically assumed to be the biological father. How can a man establish paternity when he isn’t married to the mother?
Legal Father vs. Biological Father
It’s a misconception that if a man has been added to a child’s birth certificate he is automatically and irreversibly the legal father of the child. A father’s name on a birth certificate does NOT establish paternity. Rather, paternity is established through a DNA test and an agreement signed by a court order or both parents.
If a man who is not on the birth certificate believes he is the father of the child, he has a legal right to request a DNA test by filing a paternity action. When this occurs the DNA of the mother, child, and potential father is taken for testing. The potential father should seek guidance from a paternity attorney who can help file a paternity action.
If the mother of the child is unwilling to sign a voluntary acknowledgment agreement and will not submit to a DNA test, the potential father can file the paternity action.
Other parties that can begin a paternity action are:
- the mother of the child;
- a legal representative acting on behalf of the child; or
- the Florida Department of Revenue.
A court can find the potential father to be the legal father of the child through the DNA test, compelling evidence, or both.
To establish paternity through evidence, the potential father must submit:
- a testimony concerning the nature of their relationship with the mother and/or child;
- a testimony from third parties concerning the nature of their relationship with the mother and/or child; or
- proof of conduct by either party that can show paternity.
Contact Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. Today
If you are struggling to prove paternity, reach out to our paternity attorneys. We are a passionate law firm that will do what we can to help you gain access to your child.
Call our firm today at (727) 245-9009 or contact us online for a legal consultation.