There are many reasons that a mother or father of a child would want to establish legal paternity of a child. The father may be seeking a substantive role in the child's upbringing, or the mother may require child support from the father.
The legal definition of "family" has never been entirely clear cut. Florida law contains several clauses that allow for non-traditional families to gain or maintain legal rights. As in most cases involving offspring, the court's first priority is the best interests of children.
Last time, we began looking at the issue of accuracy in paternity testing. As we noted, although DNA testing is considered highly accurate, it can't necessarily be considered definitive proof of paternity. Part of the reason for that is that DNA testing is always in terms of probabilities. As we noted last time, a statistical probability at or above 95 percent creates a presumption of paternity.
For parents of children born outside of marriage, establishing paternity is an important first step in recognizing the rights and obligations that flow from parenthood. It goes without saying that the accuracy of paternity testing is critical to ensuring a just outcome. The fact is, though, that paternity testing is not without the possibility of error.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at the issue of establishing paternity, and the difficulties that are typically faced by fathers of children born to a woman married to another man. As we noted, establishing paternity is one hurdle these men have to face. The presumption of fatherhood for the married woman’s husband and the uncertainties of paternity testing itself are only the first hurdle, though.
Last time, we began discussing at the case of a Florida man who is looking to potentially challenge current Florida paternity law, which makes it very difficult for men to establish paternity and obtain parental rights of a child born to a married woman.
Paternity rights can present significant challenges, both legal and emotional, for fathers. Paternity confusions and difficulties can, of course, come up in a variety of circumstances, but often arise when relationships get messy and multiple partners are involved. This is especially the case when a woman becomes pregnant by a man other than her legal husband.
In our previous post, we looked briefly at the story of a Venezuelan couple involved in a custodial interference case in Florida. As we noted, the couple was never married and so, under Florida law, there is no presumption of paternity. For the father, this is why he was charged with the offense.
Child custody disputes, as readers are aware, can be particularly contentious and couples who split up can end up need to be prepared to advocate for their rights and the best interests of their child. The possibility of disputes arise does not end after a parenting plan is established, either, but continues until the children become adults.
Raising a child can be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, responsibilities a person can have. But imagine you have spent years being a parent to a child only to find out that you actually have no biological relationship to that child. This is the devastating situation too many Florida men find themselves in when they are falsely named as the father of a child.