South Florida Fathers’ Rights Lawyer
Unmarried fathers have specific rights in the state of Florida. Among these are the right be listed on their child’s birth certificate and the right to seek time-sharing with their child. Unfortunately, the public has not been educated about these rights or the process to establish and enforce them.
The law offices of Jodie Bassichis, P.A, provides a complete line of services in the area of father’s rights. In my 30-plus years of family law practice, I have campaigned for the rights that fathers have today and vigorously represented dads in paternity actions and time-sharing proceedings.
- I also stand up for the rights of fathers in divorce proceedings.
Unmarried Fathers’ Rights And Establishment Of Paternity
When a child is born to parents who are not married, the father is not the “legal” father of that child until paternity is established. Paternity (parentage) can be established through agreement, a declaration of paternity signed by both parents, or through a DNA test. Once paternity is established, the father of the child can:
- Seek to have his name added to the child’s birth certificate
- Seek shared residence, time-sharing and parental responsibility
- Seek child support
Both parents are responsible for child support. It is possible for an unmarried father to be awarded primary residence of the minor child and be entitled to receive child support from the mother. There are also circumstances in which the father is and always has been the de facto residential parent of a child. Without the establishment of paternity in these cases, that father may be at risk for the wrongful removal of the minor child.
Nothing Is Automatic. I Can Help You Take Action.
It is important to recognize that the establishment of paternity and support through the Department of Revenue (or another state agency) does NOT address issues of time-sharing and residence. You may be ordered to pay child support whether or not you have visitation with your own son or daughter.
In many cases, fathers have only 10 days to object when administrative orders are issued determining a child support amount to pay, placing the child with the mother and with no provision for the dad to spend time with the child. Contact my office immediately if you are being shut out of your child’s life or if you need enforcement of a time-sharing order that the mother is refusing to honor.
What If I believe I’m NOT the father?
It is equally important to know your rights when you have not been legally determined to be the father of the child. My firm provides legal assistance to men who have been wrongfully ordered to pay child support for children who have not been established as their biological offspring. In some circumstances it may be necessary to file a Disestablishment of Paternity petition with the circuit court to terminate a child support order from the Department of Revenue. In this situation, time is of the essence!
Know Your Rights And Who Can Help
Unmarried fathers are entitled to all the same rights as any married or divorced dad once paternity is established. But you need to take additional steps to establish time with your child. I can guide you through the process and represent you in legal proceedings if there are any barriers or objections.