DNA tests are typically only required when there is a dispute. A Court is not going to render a child fatherless under such conditions unless there are very good reasons present. There has to be some legal reason for the parent-child relationship to be severed. Essentially, the birth certificate is for legal purposes and establishes the Father as the legal parent.
This right to access is the time-sharing and right to individual contact with a child. A word of caution however, unilaterally preventing time-sharing from the other parent is typically not in the best interest of the child. A court may see such an action as being driven out of spite and indicative of a parent who is not willing to foster a relationship with the Father.
Should the Court view one of the Parents as not willing to foster a relationship with the other, that Parent risks an unfavorable result. The purpose of these hearings is to establish legal paternity and support only. These Courts are without the jurisdiction to make any decisions as to time-sharing.
These hearings can establish paternity for Fathers who may not have actually signed a birth certificate. At these hearings the Court reviews the incomes of both parents and the expenses related to the child so as to establish a child support obligation. Either Parent can file a Petition to Establish Paternity.
The Petition typically asks that legal and biological paternity be established, for support to be calculated and for a Parenting Plan to be entered by the Court. The significance of such an order is that both Parents are afforded the rights and responsibilities associated with the child having two 2 parents who not only have the obligation of financial support for the child, but now have defined rights as to time-sharing. If the Father fails to establish his rights to access to the minor child, there is a chance that the Mother could make the unilateral decision to remove the minor child from the State of Florida.
Florida Statute In a situation where the Parties have established their rights to time-sharing i. A parent who has not established any rights to time-sharing or access with the minor child may have no right to cause the other parent to return to the State of Florida should the other choose to relocate. This is a very serious consequence to not establishing a Parenting Plan. If the relationship between the Mother and Father is still intact, such a request could be tantamount to setting the relationship on fire. Get to know us: Jeana Vogel, Esq. Fathers often think the Acknowledgement of Paternity form grants more rights than it really does.
This is understandable, given the language of rights, responsibilities and duties on the form. These rights must be granted by a court.
Absent court-ordered time sharing and parental responsibility rights, a father, in reality, possesses only limited rights. Notice is one such right, meaning a father with legally established paternity rights is entitled to notification in the event the mother chooses to put the child up for adoption. Additionally, such notice provides a father with paternity an opportunity to obtain custody rights.
Lastly, just as an Acknowledge of Paternity does grant some limited rights, it also restricts rights. For example, by acknowledging paternity, a father, absent fraud or duress, will almost certainly be prohibited from later calling paternity into question by requesting a DNA test.
For fathers seeking custody in lieu of the mother putting the child up for adoption, the Putative Father Registry is one option. As with the Acknowledgement of Paternity, registration is time-sensitive. Though an Acknowledgement of Paternity creates only limited rights, it does create serious responsibilities. By signing the form and assuming legal responsibility for a child, a father becomes liable for providing financial support for the child.
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To obtain more than the limited rights created by an Acknowledgement of Paternity or registration with the Putative Father Registry, a father must file a Petition for Paternity. Admittedly, this is confusing; why, after all, would one need to petition for paternity after acknowledging it? Nonetheless, the petition must be filed.
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In doing so, one requests that the court grant the father decision-making and time-sharing rights. Get to know us: Kate Newton-John, Esq. When the relationship between an unwed mother and father of a child ends, it is sometimes the first time that the father is forced to consider the need to legally establish paternity. Other times, there was little or no relationship to begin with.
It is a common misconception that a DNA test requires needles or blood. Because DNA exists in literally every cell in the body, skin cells are sufficient. For a DNA test, a swab is used to collect cells from inside the cheek area near the mouth. The process is completely painless.
For a DNA test to establish paternity, the alleged father, mother, and child are scheduled for testing. At the testing site, identification must be provided. All three parties — mother, father, and child — provide DNA samples, and also have their pictures taken. The DNA samples and photos are then sent to a genetic testing laboratory. There, the cells are all compared. The test results are then mailed to mother and alleged father.
This is because, with regard to family law issues, courts make decisions in the best interests of the child rather than the father.
Fla. Stat. § 63.062
However, Florida law does provide a mechanism by which one can challenge a prior determination of legal paternity. The procedure is known as a Disestablishment of Paternity. If successful, the procedure terminates all support obligations. Doing so could greatly benefit your child. With paternity legally established, your child will be able to access information on your family medical history. Second, most obviously, your father will know who his or her father is.
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Legal paternity also allows your child to benefit from your ability to provide your child with health or life insurance. The same is true for more easily receiving child and medical support from you.