Orlando Paternity Lawyer Near You
How Can An Orlando, FL Paternity Attorney Help You Establish Your Rights to Custody and Support?
Need your parental rights established? Contact our paternity establishment attorney now. Sean Smallwood is an Orlando, FL paternity establishment attorney who understands the importance of establishing your rights to custody or support.
In recent years the number of unmarried couples having children seems to be on the rise. This has caused an increase in the number of petitions to establish paternity. In most cases, the most important aspect of the paternity case is to establish either child visitation or child support, or both.
In Florida, when a child is born to an unmarried couple one or both of the parents must petition the court in order to have the rights and responsibilities of being a parent granted to them via order of the court. These include; time-sharing, child support, parental responsibility, decision-making authority to name a few.
The petition to establish paternity can be filed for many reasons by both mothers and fathers and can last on average from a few months to a year or more depending on the issues. Most of the time the most contested issues in paternity cases are time-sharing and child support. Our Orlando paternity attorney can guide the client through the process of filing the petition, conducting proper discovery, fighting for the best parenting plan for our client, and calculating child support properly to ensure a proper support payment that is best for the client and their family.
What do I do if the other parent will not let me see my child?
Here in Orlando, Florida, we are within the ninth judicial circuit which has an Administrative Order that is binding on all parties to paternity actions or actions to establish parental rights. This order basically mandates that the parent who has the child or children must permit the other parent to spend time with and communicate with the children in the case. The order goes on to state that is a parent unreasonably refuses to allow visits then they are not acting in the child’s best interests and could lose some of their time with the child.
This is very important to keep in mind if you have a child and the other parent is not permitting you to see the kids. The administrative order is only binding in cases that have been filed and served on the other parent so parents should not put off contacting an attorney. It is important to remember that if the state is coming after you for child support they will not address any child custody issues at that time and you will need to contact a lawyer to file a paternity case in the circuit court.
If you are facing paternity rights issues in Orlando, Florida don’t hesitate to contact our office for an in-depth no-obligation consultation: 407-574-5611
Our office is located at 390 North Orange Ave., Suite 2300-m, Orlando, FL 32801
Beyond DNA Tests: Establishing Paternity in Florida
Paternity Establishment For Unmarried Parents
You might imagine that the stories Florida family lawyers hear about paternity cases resemble those paternity test-themed episodes that were so popular on daytime television talk shows in the 90s when DNA paternity testing first became widespread. However, there is much more to paternity law than what you see on TV. The stereotype about paternity cases is that a single mother falls on hard times financially and tries to prove that her ex-boyfriend is the biological father of her child so that he will be legally obligated to pay child support for the child. Meanwhile, the ex-boyfriend denies that he is the father; he attempts to cast doubt on the mother’s credibility, trying to cast her as greedy, financially irresponsible, dishonest, and sexually promiscuous. Here are some frequently asked questions about paternity laws in Florida. You can find out more by talking to an Orlando paternity lawyer.
Q: How Accurate Are DNA Paternity Tests?
A: They are more than 99 percent accurate. If you are not the child’s father, a DNA test can confirm this with close to 100 percent certainty. You may have heard otherwise, but DNA paternity tests were highly accurate when they first became available, and they are even more accurate now. When Steve Jobs told Time magazine in 1982 that the results of the DNA test he had taken showed that 28 percent of the men in the United States could be the father of his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs, this only indicated that Steve Jobs was better at designing computers than he was at evaluating the accuracy of DNA tests.
Q: How Do DNA Tests Work?
A: A DNA sample, usually in the form of skin cells obtained by wiping the inner cheek with a cotton swab, is taken from the child and the alleged father. The DNA samples are analyzed to see how much DNA they have in common. If the result is positive, then approximately half of the child’s DNA will match the father’s. If it is negative, then the child’s DNA and the man’s DNA will have little in common. The method of DNA analysis is similar to that used by genealogy services and in crime labs.
Q: Is It Possible to Establish Paternity Without a DNA Test?
A: Yes. In fact, the court only requires a DNA test if you are trying to deny paternity. Most of the time, the deciding factor that makes you a father is not your genetic relationship to the child, but rather your wish to claim the child as your son or daughter. If you are married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, Florida law automatically recognizes you as the father. You simply list yourself as the father on the child’s birth certificate, and no one will ever question your legal paternity. If the mother is not married at the time of the child’s birth, it is still possible to establish paternity without taking a DNA test.
Q: How Do You Establish Paternity If You and the Child’s Mother Are Not Married?
A: Both parents of the child sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form and file it with the court. 60 days after the form is submitted, it becomes permanent. The only way to revoke a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form if more than 60 days have passed since you signed it is to persuade the court that you signed the form under duress.
Q: What Can You Do If the Mother Refuses to Sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Form?
A: If the mother refuses to sign the form acknowledging that you are the father of her child, you can still petition the court to acknowledge your paternity and to grant you visitation rights or shared custody. Likewise, if the alleged father refuses to acknowledge paternity, the mother can have recourse to the same legal process. Whether you are the one trying to establish paternity, or whether the child’s mother wants to name you as the father, you should hire a lawyer who deals with family law cases. The process may or may not involve a DNA test.
Q: If the Court Declares You as the Father, Are You Automatically Entitled to Shared Custody?
A: No. You can request shared custody, which involves spending time with the child and having a say in decisions related to the child’s upbringing, but the court will not automatically grant it to you, especially if the mother was the one who initiated the paternity case.
Contact Sean Smallwood, P.A. About Paternity Cases in Orlando
Sean Smallwood, P.A. is a family lawyer committed to helping fathers exercise their legal right to be part of their children’s lives. Contact Sean Smallwood, P.A. in Orlando, Florida for a consultation.
Learn more about How Often Are Home Paternity Tests Wrong.
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What Our Clients Have To Say On Google:
“Mr. Sean Small wood & his team are amazing people. It was my first time going through a child support case not knowing anything. Mr. Sean took his time to educated me on my rights as a father & advise me on the Necessary steps to take. They worked around my budget financially, time management & were very quick on responding back to all my questions. Amazing team. 5-stars all the way”