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 are:

  • Information on family medical history.
  • The child knows who their father is.
  • The father’s name is on the birth certificate.
  • Health or life insurance from either parent, if available.
  • Support from both parents, like child support and medical support.
  • Get Social Security or veteran’s 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 child.

  • 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 rightsIt 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 now.

How Do I Establish Paternity for My Child?

In Florida, there are five ways to establish paternity:

<class=”m_bottom” id=”marriage” align=”justify”>Marriage

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 husband’s name on the child’s birth certificate.

<class=”m_bottom” id=”acknowledge” align=”justify”>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 child’s 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 father’s name is on the birth certificate when it is recorded.

  • Later –

    After the unmarried mother and child leave the hospital, the unwed mother and the child’s father can fill out and sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form DH-432. (English) (Spanish)

    • 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 father’s name.

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 father’s name to the child’s 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 are positive

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 “alleged father”. Based on the evidence, the judge may issue an order that says the man is the child’s 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.

Legitimation

If the mother is not married when the child is born, but later marries the child’s father, the law presumes the husband to be the child’s legal father. When this happens, the father’s name is not automatically added to the child’s birth certificate. To add the father’s name to their child’s birth certificate, the parents must send two documents to the Florida Office of Vital Statistics:

  • A certified copy of their marriage certificate,

    AND

  • A completed Acknowledgement of Paternity form DH-432, signed by both parents. (English) (Spanish)

Genetic Testing

A genetic test is a scientific test used to prove if a man is the child’s 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 picture identification.

  • 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.

Experience Counts

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.

Initial Consultation

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 do next.

  • 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 nowCall us today,  24/7  Toll-Free:   1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail now.

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It’s reassuring to know that you have someone in your corner to 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 care of.

  • 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 where you need it most.  If you’re suffering with an injury that prevents 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 nowCall us today,  24/7  Toll-Free:   1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail now.