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At the heart of Paternity Law in Florida, there is the "Natural Guardian" Statute. FL Stat. 744.301 states, in relevant part, that "...The mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise."
This means that there are two primary ways of establishing Paternity of a child in Florida. The first method is to be married to the mother of the child, for there exists a legal presumption that the husband of a woman who gives birth to a child is the legal father of that child. The other method is by receiving an order from a court establishing paternity.
It is often believe that placing the name of a man on a child's birth certificate serves an alternative way to establish the paternity of the child; however, this is not true. The naming of a man as that father of a child on the child's birth certificate does not, by itself, establish paternity.
Anyone can file a Petition for Determination of Paternity and other Related Relief in Florida; this is not a cause of action exclusive to fathers.
At Coastal Collaborative Family Law, we can review your case to determine if an Establishment of Paternity suit is right for your, and if use of the Collaborative Law Process would be beneficial in your case.
Schedule your 30 minute consultation today!
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