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Florida case highlights issues of paternity, custodial interference for unmarried couples, P.2

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.

Establishing paternity is necessary in order for a father to have his legal rights to a child acknowledged. For men with children born out of wedlock, there are a variety of ways to establish paternity. These include filing an affidavit acknowledging paternity or stipulating paternity with the court, as well as presenting to the court a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, either notarized or witnessed by two individuals and signed under penalty of perjury.

A notarized voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, when properly executed under Florida law, establishes the presumption of paternity. This presumption could be overcome, but it would have to be shown that the document was somehow obtained by fraud or that there were other circumstances that pointed to its falsity.

Another scenario in which paternity might be worked out by a court is in the context of court cases dealing with proceedings governing inheritance, dependency for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits, and tax proceedings.

The idea with establishing paternity is that there has to be some sort of formal recognition of fatherhood in order for a man to exercise his paternal rights. Men who need help with this process should consult an experienced attorney to represent them in the process.

The other issue in the case we’ve been talking about is custodial interference, which we’ll briefly look at in our next post. 

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