Fort Lauderdale Paternity Attorney
As part of a comprehensive family law practice, Jennifer Kane Waterway, P.A. represents parties in paternity proceedings in South Florida, whether the issue arises during a divorce or child custody dispute or as a separate proceeding.
The issue of paternity typically arises when timesharing or child support is at issue. A child’s biological father typically has the right to timesharing and a voice in the child’s healthcare, education, and religious upbringing. The father also is legally responsible to support his children financially and can be ordered by the court to pay child support.
Florida Paternity Law
If the parents are married when the child is born, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father. If the parents are unmarried at the time, they can establish paternity by signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or marrying after the child is born. This document should be notarized or witnessed in accordance with the law. If paternity is challenged, these presumptions of parentage can be overcome by genetic testing or other persuasive evidence in a judicial hearing.
Paternity also can be established administratively, such as in a probate proceeding or in an administrative hearing brought by the Department of Revenue for the purpose of establishing a child support obligation.
A Child’s Paternity is Important Throughout Life
Besides the important issues of child custody and child support that arise in a divorce, there are many other significant reasons to establish a child’s parentage. A child may have the right to inherit from his or her biological father or a legal right to receive Social Security or veteran’s benefits through the father. If the father is a foreign national or has dual citizenship in another country, the child also may have key citizenship rights and benefits available in another country. Also, it can be extremely helpful and important throughout life to know one’s family medical history.
Advocacy from an Experienced South Florida Paternity Attorney
Jennifer Kane Waterway advocates for client’s rights in judicial proceedings, including divorce and paternity actions. If you are seeking to establish or challenge paternity in a South Florida divorce or separate proceeding, contact Jennifer Kane Waterway, P.A. to discuss your case with an experienced Florida family law attorney.