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Who has legal custody of child?

Orlando, FL |

My ex-boyfriend signed my son's birth certificate but I'm not sure he is the father. We have not had a dna or paternity test done yet - but he is trying to take my son away from me. What are his rights since he signed the birth certificate - can he take my son away? What are my rights?

He has the baby right now and is refusing to return him - can I go get him back?

Attorney Answers 2


Under Florida law you are the custodial parent, as the biological mother, until his rights as the biological father are established in a court of law. Until he is adjudicated the biological father, he essentially has no rights to the child. However, unreasonably denying him access can later effect your outcome in court, should he choose to file a paternity action in order to establish his rights. I would strongly suggest speaking with an experienced family law attorney regarding the particulars of your situation and what to do and not do.

My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office at 407-971-6140 or 352-324-2444 to schedule same.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements.

Joanna Mitchell, Esquire
Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
614 E Hwy 50, Suite 327
Clermont, Florida 34711-3164
PH: (352) 324-2444 or (407) 971-6140
FX: (352) 324-2229

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Under Florida law, he cannot remove the child from your care without a) filing for paternity and b) a Court order finding he is the Father, granting him parental responsibility, and awarding him some sort of time sharing.

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