Paternity | Pertinent Questions about Paternity in Florida

There are some legal matters that are certainly fraught with difficulty. Paternity is no exception to this and should you or anyone you know have a matter relevant to this subject, do not hesitate to contact Our Florida Family Law attorney immediately to discuss your options.

The data issued on this page is purely for informational purposes and does not compose advice from a legal professional.


What Does a Paternity Case Consist Of?

Section 742.011 of Florida law allows any female of childbearing age who is pregnant or has given birth to a child or any male that has the thought of fathering a particular child, or any child to file an action in circuit court to deduce the paternity of the child in question when the situation has not already been entered into the Florida legal system or through other means.


What If A Couple Marries After the Birth of a Child?

There is no need to file a paternity action unless the husband is not the child’s actual father. Under Florida law it is assumed the husband is naturally the father of a child, no matter when the child’s date of conception was. Legally, he is that child’s father once the woman enters into the bonds of matrimony.


Should a Paternity Action Be Filed If The Parents Separate Before the Birth of a Child?

Not at all. Child support and other additional items will be established within the divorce paperwork during the course of the legal proceedings. In addition, the former spouse would be acknowledged as the father of said child under Florida law. When child support is set forth in the divorce decree that is enough to establish paternity.


Does the Union of the Mother With the Supposed Father Have Any Bearing Upon Paternity Cases?

If a mother of child that does not come into this world while that woman is married and the woman later marries the person deemed as the father, that child will “in all respects be deemed and held to be the child of the husband and wife, as though born within wedlock” under Florida Statute 742.091. The court system, however, does possess the right to set all costs for a paternity action and dictate the terms of their payment. The next step would be to discharge the paternity action and the records would no longer be available for public consumption.


What is an Unmarried, Biological Father Under Florida Law?

The Florida Office of Vital Statistics operates the Florida Putative Father Registry. Under this office’s authority, an unmarried, biological father is a gentleman that entered into a physical relationship he feels maybe have produced a child and he is not married to the woman who gives birth to this offspring on or before that date. If this man chooses to engage in signing away his parental entitlements to the child, he has already not be determined by the court system to be that child’s father or has not filed any paperwork to have his identity included in the child’s record of birth.

When such a man registers with the Putative Father Registry, his goal is to obtain rights to the child he feels he has produced. When he submits to the regulations of the registry, he acknowledges his responsibility to provide child support for said minor if he indeed, is the parent.

In addition, a paternity suit can be filed at any time, except after a father has initiated actions to divest himself of parental rights. Also, the information on a child’s record of birth is not altered by a father’s activity with the Putative Father Registry. In fact, if said male desires his information to be placed on the child’s birth record, the mother must approve this or the legal system must enforce it.


Putative Father Registry

It is important to remember, simply registering with the Florida Putative Father Registry does not entitle a person to automatically claim paternity, determine child support, enable custody arrangements or any other such institution. It merely allows the unmarried biological father to receive any legal paperwork if the mother chooses to follow the path of terminating their parental rights. If such a male decides to engage in activity to exercise his parental rights or paternity, he must file a paternity action.

Lastly, if such a man decides to withdraw his claim for paternity, he can do that through the Florida Putative Father Registry.