Tampa Paternity Attorney
It is important for children in Florida to have a legal father for various reasons. In order for a father to have the rights and responsibilities of a parent under Florida law, it may be necessary to establish paternity. This process is also known as the “determination of parentage” under Florida law. There are multiple reasons that a party might seek to establish paternity, from a father who wants to have child custody and time-sharing to a mother who needs to seek child support and enforce a child support order. In some cases, a child might want to establish paternity for their own reasons, including having a better understanding of their familial history or to understand certain genetics or health issues that the child may need to consider in the future.
The legal landscape surrounding paternity rights in Florida has undergone significant changes, and it is crucial for both fathers and mothers to understand these changes and how they affect their roles, rights, and responsibilities. A Tampa paternity attorney at The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A. is here to guide you through these changes, particularly the recently enacted HB 775, which aims to make the paternity process more equitable and less cumbersome for all involved.
How to Establish Paternity in Tampa: What’s New?
In Florida, there are several pathways to establish paternity:
- By Marriage: Should a child be born within a marital union, the husband is automatically considered the legal father; no further action is required.
- Voluntary Acknowledgment: Parents may jointly sign a legal acknowledgment confirming the father’s paternity. This becomes irrevocable 60 days post-signature.
- Administrative Order: An order can be enacted based on genetic testing results, thus establishing paternity without court involvement.
- Court Order: Either parent can petition the court for a paternity determination, usually requiring genetic tests.
The New Norm: Implications of HB 775
- Rights Granted: Unmarried fathers will now inherently possess specific rights that were formerly exclusive to mothers, promoting a more balanced parenting atmosphere.
- Financial and Emotional Involvement: HB 775 facilitates establishing child support and visitation rights, allowing the father to be financially and emotionally active in their child’s life.
- Shared Burden: This new law encourages shared parental responsibilities, alleviating the lone burden frequently shouldered by mothers.
- Mother’s Consent: Mothers still maintain a pivotal role, as their consent remains crucial in various aspects of decision-making.
Let Us Guide You Through These Changes
At The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A., our paternity attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of Florida’s evolving family laws. We assist mothers in legally confirming paternity for child support purposes and fathers seeking to establish their custody and visitation rights. To understand how these changes may affect you and to secure your parental rights, contact us today at 813-222-0888 for a free consultation with one of our expert Tampa paternity attorneys.