Establishing Paternity: What is it?



​In the United States and here in Florida, there has been a gradual shift in the family make up. We see more often couples who are opting out of traditional marriage and select cohabitation.  Cohabitation occurs when two people are in an close relationship, live together, and share a common domestic life but are not joined by marriage. This cohabitation has led to couples having and rearing children outside of traditional marriage. As a result, once the relationship between the couple ends, fathers may find that their rights to see the child(ren) or partake in parenting of the child(ren) can be denied by the mother. 

Florida Statute 742.011, allows a party (the mother, the father who has reasons to believe that he is the father, or the child) to bring a case in circuit court to determine the paternity of the child. 

In a paternity case, the following items can be requested and ordered by a judge:
1.    Establishment of
paternity;
2.    Establish a parenting plan;
3.    Establish time sharing (
custody);
4.    Establish
child support obligation;
5.    Establish parental responsibility;
6.    Division of the child dependency exemption (federal tax purposes);
7.    Adding the father’s last name to the birth certificate or changing the name; 
8.    Attorney’s fees.

In conclusion, a paternity can be filed in order to help a father, a mother or a child in acknowledging important time sharing, child support, and other rights. 


If you are interested and need assistance with a family law or paternity issue, contact Lindsay Ruiz Bash, P.A. Contact the firm's office to arrange a free initial consultation. Attorney Bash is also available to meet after hours by appointment only. We proudly serve the whole Tampa Bay area: Hillsborough County, Pasco County, New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Dade City, Carrollwood, Temple Terrace, Zephyrhills, Brandon, Lutz, South Tampa, Plant City, Riverview, New Port Richey, and all the surrounding areas.

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