Florida law regarding families and child custody are centered around the well-being of children, who are often less able to realize their wishes when parents are busy keeping their affairs together. In order to have the best possible life, children need happy and effective parents.
Establishing paternity involves legally identifying yourself as the father of a child. Doing so doesn't just benefit the child, but can ensure that each parent is afforded certain rights as well.
Unmarried fathers often feel like outsiders when it comes to the lives of their children. Many of them feel a need to tread carefully with the mother of their children because they fear being denied access. We want to tell all unwed fathers in Florida that you do have paternity rights and that it is possible to protect your fathers' rights with patience and effort on your part.
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.