Known for its tree-lined streets and ‘small-town’ appeal, the city of Safety Harbor is situated in the western shore of Tampa Bay, Florida. This old city is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs (“Springs of the Holy Spirit”), a natural source of mineral water which is now the site of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa.
Safety Harbor is near the cities of Oldsmar, Clearwater, Dunedin, Westchase, and Four Corners.
Safety Harbor covers an area of about 5.1 square miles and had an estimated population of 16,970. A little more than half of the population were female. The median resident age is 47.7 years. 58.8% were married, 13.2% were divorced, and 19.1% were never married. The median household income was $61,003, higher than the Florida median household income. Estimated median house or condo value was also significantly higher at $195,085. The average household size has 2.3 persons.
Parental Rights in Safety Harbor
If a mother is married when she gives birth to a child, her husband is the legal father of that child, even if he is not the biological father of the child. As you can imagine the possibilities for complication in such a situation are interesting. If, however, a mother is unmarried at the time her child is born, she becomes the natural guardian of the child and the Father has no parental rights until those rights are established by a Court.
Parental rights must be legally established before the Father can be assured of his right to spend time with the child, to participate in making decisions about the child’s education, health, and other matters.
Until you take the time to have a Court formally grant your paternal rights, you are subject to the whim of the mother as to how involved you may be with the child’s life.
As a father, your involvement in the life of your child is very important. It is well established that the most well-adjusted and successful are children who had a good relationship with both of the parents. It is also the policy of the state of Florida that the best interest of the child is best served by insuring that both parents have a meaningful relationship with their children.
Paternity for a child may be established in different ways:
- Through marriage to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth
- Acknowledgment of paternity by signing the child’s birth certificate, which is then ratified by a Court order establishing paternity.
- After the birth of the child, by marrying the mother and recording the subsequent marriage on the child’s birth record
- By affidavit or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity signed by both parties, which must then be submitted to a Court for ratification.
- By administrative order based on the outcome of an approved paternity test.
- By an Administrative Court orders related to child support actions.
It is important to note here that being found to be a parent for the purposes of paying child support does not give you parental rights with regards to any other issue, such as time-sharing, shared parental responsibility, decision making authority and the other benefits bestowed with the Circuit Court declares you to be a parent.
The Child Support Courts are administrative courts whose jurisdiction (its authority) extends only to child support. It cannot order the mother to allow you access to the child, it cannot establish a time-sharing schedule and it cannot adopt a Parenting Plan. The only thing an Administrative Court can do is order you to pay child support.
In order to gain your full parental rights, you must file a Petition for Paternity in the circuit court and obtain a court order granting you your parental rights. Obviously, this can be a complicated and somewhat tricky process to comply with.
If you need to establish your paternal rights, you will need the experience of an expert family law attorney to assist you with filing the petition and proving your case so that you can be involved in your children’s lives and be able to participate in the decisions being made about your child.
If you have parental rights questions and live in Safety Harbor, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, East Lake or anywhere else in Pinellas County, The Law Firm For Family Law can answer your questions about how to establish your paternal rights. Call us today to schedule a consultation with our Board Certified Specialist in Family Law ~ 727-531-8737.
Directions to Our Clearwater Family Law Attorneys from Safety Harbor, FL
These directions are from Google Maps starting from:
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
Total Est. Time: 10 mins
Total Est. Distance: 3.1 mi
- Head south on Willowick Cir
- Turn left to stay on Willowick Cir
- Take the 1st left onto 1st Ave N
- Take the 1st right onto Marshall St
- Turn left onto 9th Ave N
- Take the 1st right onto Harbor Lake Dr
- Turn right onto Cedar St
- Continue onto Union St
- Union St turns slightly right and becomes 2nd St E
- Turn left onto McCormick Dr
- Destination will be on the left
We are located at:
2629 McCormick Drive #Suite 101
Clearwater, FL 33759