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Paternity and Child Support

Being a father means having the opportunity to build a relationship with your child — and the responsibility of helping to support that child until the age of 18.

The benefits of establishing paternity for your child include the following:

  • As the father, your name is on the birth certificate of your child. If you are married when your child is born, there is no need to prove paternity because you are automatically considered the legal father of your child.
  • In addition to child support, being the legal father of your child gives them the right to an inheritance, as well as Veteran’s, Social Security and other benefits.

If you are not married to the mother of your child when the baby is born, you are not considered the legal father. Paternity must be established by men who want to be named the legal father of their child, and by mothers who are entitled to financial support to help raise their child.

There are several ways to prove paternity in Florida, including the following:

  • Marriage
  • Filing an Acknowledgement of Paternity at birth
  • Obtaining an Administrative Order based on genetic testing after the birth
  • Court Order after a judge determines paternity
  • Legitimation when a couple marries after their child is born and the father acknowledges paternity

Fatherhood is a gift and a responsibility. If you are seeking to establish paternity or have questions about proving, or disproving paternity, speak with a Clearwater paternity attorney at our family law firm.

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