Fort Lauderdale Paternity Attorneys
Proudly Protecting the Rights of Parents in Broward County
At Stok Kon + Braverman, we know that paternity actions can be complex. The state of Florida takes no presumption that a mother is the mother or a father is the father as far as custody is concerned. For unwed fathers, genetic testing has become the quickest and most efficient way to establish paternity. A DNA test can be requested by a mother, father, child, or the court. Whether you are a mother or father, neglecting to take action can result in the loss of the rights both you and your child deserve.
There are numerous benefits that come with paternity establishment, including information about family medical history, insurance from both parents, and inheritance entitlement. To this end, it is important that both parents are aware of and understands their rights and responsibilities regarding the child involved.
If you need reliable legal counsel for a paternity case, then please get in touch with our legal team in Fort Lauderdale so we can discuss the details of your situation. Call (954) 874-8870 today.
We Can Help Establish Your Parental Rights
Our firm proudly uses our extensive resources to help clients exercise their parental rights. With more than 30 years of experience, we represent both mothers and fathers in the following paternity actions:
- Acknowledgment of Paternity Form: An unmarried couple can establish paternity by voluntarily signing an acknowledgment form at the birth of the child, or any point after the child is born. This applies when both parents agree about the paternity of the child. By signing the form, both parents are naming the biological father under oath. Both parents have 60 days to revoke their agreement. Once the 60 days pass, a party cannot set aside the acknowledgment.
- Administrative Court Order: A paternity determination is made based on genetic testing to determine paternity. These tests are ordered through a Florida agency. Each party submits swabs from their inside cheek for testing. All samples are sent to an independent lab for paternity testing. If paternity is established, the Department of Vital Statistics is notified and the birth certificate is updated. An administrative order is sufficient for establishing child support, but not custody.
- Court Order: This tactic is typically used when the individuals do not agree on paternity. When brought by the Department of Revenue, the case is only commenced for the purpose of establishing child support. Once a case is commenced, the non-filing party is summoned to appear at a court date to answer the paternity allegations. If the non-filing party is the alleged father and he fails to appear at court, the court can enter a default judgment of paternity against him. If the parties come to an agreement prior to court, they can provide the court with a consent order, which is generally followed.
Once paternity has been established, there are many rights and benefits that both parents and children can enjoy. Parents might be able to obtain the financial support their child needs, and previously absent parents can secure the right to visitation and parenting time. Most importantly, children will be able to grow up with meaningful relationships with both parents. While a child support order may automatically go into effect with a paternity determination, you must request custody and visitation through the court.
At Stok Kon + Braverman, our Fort Lauderdale paternity attorneys firmly believe in protecting the rights of both parents. Once we have helped you establish paternity, we will file the appropriate motions and pleadings to ensure that your rights to parenting time, time-sharing, and child support are exercised. We are dedicated to you and your paternity needs.