When you have a baby with someone in Florida and the two of you are not in a marriage, you need to take extra steps if you wish to maintain rights over your son or daughter. While establishing paternity helps give you legal rights over your child and allows you to ask for parenting time, doing so also leads to various benefits for your son or daughter.
Per the Florida Department of Revenue, there are three specific ways in which you might go about establishing paternity in Florida. The three possible methods of doing so are as follows.
1. By establishing it at birth at the hospital
You and your child’s other parent have the option of establishing paternity at the hospital where your child is born even if the two of you are not in a marriage. This is arguably the easiest and most seamless way to establish paternity in Florida.
2. Through legitimation or acknowledgment
If you and your child’s mother and father agree about your child’s parentage, you have the option of establishing paternity via legitimation or acknowledgment. You may do so at any point until your child turns 18.
3. Through a court order
If you and your child’s other parent dispute your child’s parentage, you may need to get a court order to prove paternity. You may be able to do so outside of court, or you may need a judge to make such an order in court. Either way, establishing paternity involves genetic testing.
Establishing paternity gives you a legal leg to stand on when it comes to your child, but it also gives him or her important information about medical history, among other notable benefits.