Establishing paternity in Florida offers many advantages. If you are a child’s mother, establishing paternity gives you a way through which to request financial support from your child’s father. If you are the father of the child, establishing paternity gives you legal rights to him or her.
Establishing paternity also offers benefits for the child at the center of the equation. For starters, doing so helps your son or daughter develop a stronger sense of identity. Establishing paternity may also give your child important information about his or her health history, among other benefits. How might you go about establishing paternity in Florida?
1. By doing so at the hospital after birth
Arguably the easiest and fastest way for you to establish paternity as an unmarried parent is to have both parties voluntarily agree about who fathered the child before leaving the hospital.
2. Through legitimation or acknowledgment
You may also establish paternity after leaving the hospital. You may do so at any point up until your child turns 18 if you both agree about your child’s parentage. To do so, you must both sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form in front of a notary public.
3. By a court order
A third method of establishing paternity involves securing a court order to do so. Florida’s child support division may order a paternity test. Alternatively, a judge may do so. Either option requires the presumptive father to undergo genetic testing.
Establishing paternity also helps ensure that your child has inheritance rights and rights to each parent’s health or life insurance, if applicable.