Serving in St Johns County, Duval County and throughout Florida
At FLA Legal Professionals, we help moms and dads build and strengthen their families.
In Florida, the law favors children having a strong, meaningful relationship with both parents. If you are a father who seeks the right to have contact with your child, or you are a mother who wishes to obtain financial support from your child’s father, you need an experienced Jacksonville paternity lawyer on your side.
One of the most rewarding things about practicing paternity law is seeing parents connect with their kids. Families come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is constant: parents love their children. It is a privilege to help mothers and fathers feel empowered and confident when it comes to their relationship with their kids.
A Strong Advocate for Fathers’ Rights
Like most states, there are two ways to establish paternity in Florida: either through marriage or through a legal action in the courts.
Under state law, a child born during a marriage is presumed to belong to the husband. In cases where the mother and father were not married at the time of the child’s birth, the father or the mother must file a petition to establish paternity. The state also has the right to file a paternity action in cases where the mother is receiving certain types of government financial assistance, such as Medicaid.
Fathers sometimes feel helpless when it comes to establishing parenting rights. If you are a dad looking to get time with your child, it’s important to know you are protected by the law. You have rights. More importantly, you are a key part of your child’s life. Although children certainly can – and do – thrive in a one-parent household, studies show that kids do best when they have both a mother and a father in their lives.
Helping Mothers Get the Support They Need
Child support is designed to help children live a comfortable, healthy lifestyle. If you are a mother struggling to make ends meet on your own, a paternity action could help you get the support and resources your child needs.
In some cases, it is appropriate to disestablish paternity. If a man satisfies the requirements under Florida law for the disestablishment of paternity, he can usually terminate his child support obligations. These cases can be quite complex, so speak to a paternity lawyer before beginning your case.
Protect Your Rights. We Can Help.
During a paternity action, the court can address a number of issues related to the child and the parents’ rights regarding the child. Specifically, the court has the authority to:
- Determine paternity
- Award child support
- Approve visitation
- Determine timesharing
- Decide health insurance issues
- Oversee the parties’ parenting plan
- Award support for pregnancy and birthing expenses
- Establish parental decision-making authority
Even if you and your child’s other parent share parenting without an establishment of paternity, it’s important to have a formal agreement regarding your rights and obligations toward your child and each other. A court-approved agreement can help you avoid misunderstandings and conflicts down the road.