What happens if I have a child outside of marriage?
When a child is born to unmarried parents in Florida, the child is automatically considered the lawful child of the mother, meaning that she has sole, legal and physical custody. Until paternity is established, an unmarried father has no parental rights or legal responsibility for the child.
In many cases, both parents agree on the paternity of the child, with the father voluntarily accepting his rights and responsibilities. However, in cases where the paternity is disputed, either the mother or father can initiate a proceeding to establish paternity and resolve many related issues such as custody, child support, time sharing and parenting plans.
Our attorneys are experienced in representing both parties in paternity actions. If you are an unmarried mother or father, we can help with establishing a claim of paternity or defending against one. Once paternity has been established by acknowledgment or a genetic test, we can counsel you on issues such as timesharing, parental responsibility, and child support, keeping your best interests in mind. We understand the very sensitive nature of these types of matters, and we handle each case with discretion and respect.
If you have questions about a family law matter and wish to speak to an experienced attorney, our team is here to help. Contact us today.
Related Practice Areas
- Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage
- Alimony / Spousal Support
- Equitable Distribution / Division of Assets & Liabilities
- Child Support & Children's Issues
- Modification & Enforcement Actions
- Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
- Same-Sex Marital Considerations & Domestic Partnerships