Why and how should I establish paternity?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Unmarried Couples on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Last week, we discussed how blood testing and DNA testing can confirm or deny paternity. Genetic testing is only one of the ways you can establish paternity in Florida. It is important to know about each way to establish paternity, as well as some of the reasons you should establish paternity so you can decide how to handle your case.

What options do I have for establishing paternity?

Marriage is one way to establish paternity. If you are married before the child is born, paternity is established. If you get married after the child is born and update the birth record, you establish paternity through legitimation. You can sign a legal document when the child is born, which establishes paternity through the Acknowledgement of Paternity. You can go through the court to have genetic testing to prove paternity or you can have the court order paternity.

Why should I establish paternity?

Paternity gives you legal rights regarding the child. It is also a starting point for your legal responsibilities. You will support the child, have a say in the legal decisions regarding the child and be able to pursue custody or visitation orders for the child. Additionally, the child will be able to have your name on the birth certificate, be eligible for benefits like Social Security through you and will know that you are his or her father.

Establishing paternity is a big step for a father. It is important to understand your responsibilities and rights regarding paternity so that you can be sure that your rights are protected and your responsibilities are met.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, “Establishing Legal Paternity,” accessed April. 24, 2015