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Fort Lauderdale Father's Rights Lawyers
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Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights Attorney

A child needs to have a healthy and loving relationship with their parents to develop well and improve their quality of life. However, if you are an unmarried father who’s not living with your child’s mother, securing a healthy and loving relationship with your child can come with legal battles.

paternal rights lawyer fort lauderdale

If you live in Florida, unmarried mothers automatically get complete rights and responsibility over their minor children. The father can only have the opportunity to exercise their rights if they choose or are forced to take responsibility for the child by legitimizing their paternity. The state has a clear procedure when it comes to paternity proceedings, and the court will consider the child’s interests and the father’s commitment to ensuring that their child is given the support they need and building a strong relationship with them.

With the Fort Lauderdale father’s rights attorneys at Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys, fighting for your rights as a father will not be as difficult as you may have thought initially. We will explain to you how paternity can be established and know what you need to do to show your determination to be involved in your child’s life. We can assist you in creating a time-sharing and parenting plan that will help you get all the time you need to build a strong relationship with your child. Our team can also assist in any disestablishment of paternity cases should there be a reason for you to doubt your child’s paternity.

Call Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys at (954) 371-2993 for your Consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights attorney.

Establishing Father’s Rights

Under the law, an unmarried father does not have legal rights to his minor children unless his paternity is legally acknowledged. The same can be said for unmarried fathers listed on the legal birth certificate.

paternal rights lawyer ft lauderdaleIn order for their paternity to be legally recognized, the father may take several legal avenues. Some of these avenues include:

  • Signing the Acknowledgement of Paternity if you are in the hospital when the child is born (you can submit this form at a later date)
  • Get an administrative order based on DNA testing.
  • Get a court order signed by a judge.
  • Marrying the mother after the birth of the child and updating their birth record

The father must show they are committed to supporting their child’s needs and fostering a good relationship. Once your paternity is established, you can sort out a time-sharing and custody plan with your attorney and get it approved by the court.

The Importance of Legally Protecting Your Relationship

An unmarried father has the right to seek an opportunity to be involved in their child’s life without court approval, especially if both parties know they are the child’s parents. Unmarried parents can even informally make arrangements between themselves and follow them without worries.

parental rights attorney fort lauderdaleHowever, unmarried fathers cannot immediately fight for their rights if the mother denies them the rights unless the court recognizes their paternity. Unless this is done, the mother has all the right to end the relationship with the father of their child and deny them the opportunity to bond with their child or even see them.

With the help of our Fort Lauderdale father’s rights attorneys at Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys, you will get a strong legal advocate who can help you protect your rights as the father of your child regardless of your relationship with the mother. Once your paternity is proven, we can help you make a time-sharing and parenting plan.

Divorced Father’s Rights

Unlike unmarried fathers, divorced fathers do not have to prove their paternity if they were married to the child’s mother during their birth. They are also entitled to practice their rights as the child’s father, which the mother of your child or children must respect. This guarantees the child that they can still have a strong relationship with them even after the divorce.

However, the mother is not guaranteed to respect the father’s rights after divorce. Fortunately, the father can report the issue to the court, and they can intervene. Let our Fort Lauderdale, FL family law firm provide you with legal support and representation so you can practice your father’s rights and be allowed to bond with your child.

Contesting Established Paternity

While it is rare, there are situations when a father, who is recognized as a child’s father and has treated the child as their own, finds out they may not be the biological father. There are also situations where a man is identified as the child’s father, but he has credible information to doubt the claims.

fathers rights attorney ft lauderdaleUnlike establishing your paternity, it is not complicated to fight for a “disestablishment of paternity.” They simply need to file a petition to seek the disestablishment of paternity and terminate child support arrangements. They must also show the paternity test results taken within 90 days, proving they are not the father.

If there is an existing child support order, the father should file in the court which has the jurisdiction of the child support order. The petition must then be served to the child’s mother or guardian and with the Florida Department of Revenue. If there is no active child support order in place, the named father must file a petition before the court where the child’s mother lives. If the mother and child relocate to another state, you can file the petition in your state.

Courts will look at the petition and grant disestablishment if:

  • The identified father was not aware he was not the biological father when paternity was established
  • The paternity tests were done perfectly and 100% accurately.
  • The testing results show that the petitioner is not the father.
  • The named father is on time for child support payments.
  • The petitioner did not adopt the child.
  • Artificial insemination was not used to conceive the child while the named father was married to the mother.
  • The petitioner did not prevent the actual biological father from practicing their parental rights.
  • The child was still a minor when the “disestablishment of paternity” petition was filed.

Should you wish to contest paternity, don’t hesitate to contact our Fort Lauderdale father’s rights attorneys. We can help you start the process to file for paternity disestablishment and help you schedule the paternity tests to support your request.

Talk to Our Legal Experts Today

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Even if you are not married to your child’s mother or no longer living with them after a divorce, you deserve to have the opportunity to build a strong and loving relationship with your child as their father.

If you are ready to take on your responsibility as a father, have access to your children, or wish to contest paternity, contact our Fort Lauderdale, FL family law firm to receive the legal support and representation you need. We are always ready to assist you and fight for your rights as a father.

Call Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys at (954) 371-2993 for your Consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights attorney.