Providing Legal Services to Floridians.
Paternity Is Fatherhood
Every child deserves to have a legal father.
When you establish paternity, you identify the legal father of the child.
Paternity gives rights and benefits to the mother, the father and the child.
Some of the rights and benefits for the child
Information on family medical history.
The child knows who their father is.
The fatherís name is on the birth certificate.
Health or life insurance from either parent, if available.
Support from both parents, like child support and medical
Get Social Security or veteranís benefits, military
allowances and inheritances.
Paternity gives both parents the legal right to:
Get a child support order.
Get a court order for visitation or custody.
Have a say in legal decisions about the child.
Does Your Child Have Legal Father?
A child born to parents that are married to each other has a
legal father. Married parents and their child get all the
rights and benefits of having a legal father.
A child does not have a legal father if the mother is
not married when the child is
born. Legal paternity has to be established for this child.
Our experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of David P. Ginzberg can
help you to get immediate professional help to provide for the future of your
It is crucial that you contact an
experienced family law attorney to protect your child's interests. Whether
you believe that the father will do the right thing regarding child support and
other benefits for your child, the sooner you hire us as your lawyer, the better we can assess the
facts, develop a strategy and protect your rights. It costs you
nothing to call us and have a professional lawyer do an in-depth examination
of your situation and determine what's best for you and your child. Don't wait, call
us today, toll-free: 1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail
How Do I Establish Paternity for My Child?
In Florida, there are five ways to establish
If a woman is married when her child is born, her husband is
the legal father of the child. They do not need to do anything to establish
paternity. This paper work will be completed in the hospital by their staff.
This is true even if the mother does not list her husbandís name on the childís
Acknowledgement of Paternity
If the mother is not
married when her child is born, the parents can establish legal paternity
at birth or later by signing a form that says they are the parents of a child:
At Birth -
In the hospital when the child is born, the unmarried mother and the
childís father can fill out and sign the Paternity Acknowledgement
form DH-511 before they leave the hospital. This is the quickest and easiest
way to get paternity established when the mother is not married. The child has
a legal father right from the start. Both parents must be there to fill out
and sign the section in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public.
The man that signs the section is the legal
father as soon as the form is complete.
The hospital sends the form to the Florida Office
of Vital Statistics so they can record the birth. The legal fatherís name is
on the birth certificate when it is recorded.
After the unmarried mother and child leave the hospital, the unwed mother
and the childís father can fill out and sign an Acknowledgement of
Paternity form DH-432. (English)
Parents can also get this form from their
local Health Department, the Florida Office of Vital Statistics or the
Department of Children and Families.
Both parents must fill out and sign the form in the
presence of two witnesses or a notary public.
Parents mail the completed form to the Florida Office of
Vital Statistics where the birth certificate is changed to add the legal
NOTE: These two methods (in-hospital Paternity Acknowledgment DH-511 or
Acknowledgment of Paternity DH-432) cannot be used if the mother is married
when the child is born.
Administrative Order for Paternity
The Florida Department of Revenue
(FDOR) can help you establish paternity without going
to court with an Administrative Order. The mother, the man believed to be the
father and child must take a genetic test. If the test
results prove that the man believed to be the father is the biological father,
FDOR will issue an Administrative Order of Paternity and tell the Florida Office of
Vital Statistics to add the fatherís name to the childís birth certificate. Many
people prefer this method because:
There is no need to go to court
There is no cost for the genetic test
The order is based on genetic test results
The administrative order is just as legal as a court order
The genetic test is easy and very reliable
If possible, we can move quickly to get child support if the test results
Not all cases can use this method. If you have a case with
us, we will review it to see if this is the best method for your situation.
Court Order for Paternity
A judge can establish paternity through a court
order. We ask the court to hear the case and then a judge decides if paternity
is established or not. In many cases until the paternity has been legally
established the man is referred to as the ďalleged fatherĒ. Based on the
evidence, the judge may issue an order that says the man is the childís father.
A judge can also establish paternity in other kinds of court actions, such as
divorce or dependency. In court cases:
The parties must appear for the court hearing as scheduled.
The court may order a genetic test.
One or both parties may be ordered to pay for the genetic
test and other court costs.
If the mother and father agree to legal paternity before the
actual day of the court hearing they can sign a consent order that is adopted
by the court as a final order.
If the mother is not married when the child is
born, but later marries the childís father, the law presumes the husband to be
the childís legal father. When this happens, the fatherís name is not
automatically added to the childís birth certificate. To add the fatherís name
to their childís birth certificate, the parents must send two documents to the
Florida Office of Vital Statistics:
A certified copy of their marriage certificate,
A completed Acknowledgement of Paternity form DH-432, signed by
both parents. (English)
A genetic test is a scientific test used to prove
if a man is the childís father. Sometimes it is also called a DNA test. Needles
are not used, nor is blood needed to do the test. It works this way:
The man believed to be the father, the mother, and the child
are scheduled for a genetic test appointment.
Everyone must show up for their appointment and bring
At the appointment, the lab worker takes a picture of the
person being tested, gets a fingerprint, and reviews and photocopies the
picture identifications. They are careful to check identification so that they are
sure the test is being done on the correct person or persons.
The lab worker wipes the inside of the cheek of each person
with a small swab, similar to a large q-tip, to get a sample of cells the lab
will use for the genetic test.
The lab worker seals and ships the cell samples and
identification to the genetic testing laboratory.
The laboratory compares the cells of the mother, the man
believed to be the father, and the child to get a test result.
The laboratory sends the test results to the FDOR, and the
FDOR sends copies to the
mother and the man believed to be the father.
Genetic test results are reliable and proof that the man who
took the test is or is not the father of the child. The FDOR uses laboratories
certified in genetic testing. They do not accept genetic test results for any
other laboratories. Once the genetic test results are received from the
laboratory doing the testing, you will receive the results in the mail. They are
NOT AUTHORIZED to reveal any testing results (positive or negative) to anyone
over the phone.
Genetic testing is always a part of the Administrative Order method.
Genetic test results are reliable and proof that the man who took the test is or
is not the father of the child. Sometimes a judge will order genetic testing in court.
Regardless of the method, if the mother or the possible father has any doubt
about who the real father is, we recommend a genetic test.
Hire an experienced law firm. The Law Offices of David P.
Ginzberg have litigated many family law cases, including paternity, child
support and visitation issues.
When you hire the Law
Offices of David P. Ginzberg, you get a strong advocate whose only
goal is making sure that all of your family concerns are adequately addressed
and that all of your legal standings are well protected.
We have been successfully helping Floridians with legal
services since 1984. We are fully experienced with all facets
of the legal procedures required to ensure that your case is conducted
professionally and thoroughly. Our attorneys are top-notch trial lawyers
capable of the meticulous effort necessary to guide your case from inception to
completion. You can be certain that every member of our staff knows their
job inside and out and will do their very best to meet your expectations.
Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142 or
send an e-mail now.
Upon your first visit, we provide you with a comprehensive
consultation with one of our attorneys ABSOLUTELY FREE, or if you prefer,
you can get answers fast over the phone.
This service costs you nothing, yet allows you to obtain
straight-forward answers to your questions to help put your mind at ease.
We will advise you exactly what you should or shouldn't
If you choose to have us handle your case, we will tell you
up-front and in
writing exactly what services we will provide, along with the amount of our
fees and costs, if any.
Get the help you deserve now.
Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142
or send an e-mail now.
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look after you.
Our loyalty is with you. Once you've entrusted our firm with your
problems, we perform strictly for you and your interests.
We know how important it is for you to know that your worries are well taken
You always have someone to turn to. We put our clients concerns first and
do our utmost to treat you with compassion and understanding.
Each of the professionals in our law offices get to know you personally.
We take the time to answer all your questions and explain exactly what's
happening each step of the way.
With locations throughout Florida, we're available to help you when and
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you from getting around, we'll come to you.
We are always there to fight for your rights, whatever it takes!
Get the help you deserve now.
Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142
or send an e-mail now.
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