How to Establish Paternity in Florida
In Florida, there are multiple ways to establish paternity.o Marriage: The parents are married to each other when the child is born
o Acknowledgment of Paternity: The unmarried couple signs a legal document in the hospital when the child is born, or later Section 742.10, Florida Statutes.
o Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing: Paternity is ordered if a genetic test proves fatherhood in a Department of Revenue Support Case.
o Court Order: A judge orders paternity in court
o Legitimation: The mother and natural father get married to each other after the child is born and update the birth record through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.
What Rights do Parents Have after Paternity is Established?After paternity is Established in one of the above listed ways, BOTH parents now have the right to:
oGet a child support order
oGet a court order for visitation or custody
oHave a say in legal decisions about the child.
In Florida, what we used to refer to as Custody and Visitation are now called "Time-Sharing". Both parents are required to submit a "Parenting Plan" to the Court to establish what each parent is entitled to and what the best interests of the child(ren) is/are. A different Parenting Plan can be completed for what used to be called "Supervised Visitation", but is now called 'Supervised Timesharing".