30. PATERNITY: BIRTH CERTIFICATE ENOUGH?

Mackey Law Group has handled hundreds of paternity cases in Florida.  A common misconception in paternity cases is that if the Father’s name appears on the birth certificate of a minor child, that automatically means he is legally the Father and is entitled and/or accountable for all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges relating to that minor child without further action.  However, that is not the case when a child is born out of wedlock.

In order for either the Father or the Mother to establish timesharing, child support, etc. with the court for a child born out of wedlock, there must first be a determination and actual order by the Court establishing paternity for the Father.  This is often established via an agreement of the parties, which is then approved by the Court; the birth certificate does play a part by at least creating a presumption that the Father on the birth certificate is the actual legal Father. However, sometimes a DNA test is required if the parties do not agree on who the Father is.  This leads to yet another common misconception that any DNA test will suffice.

In a paternity lawsuit, establishing paternity is just the beginning, but it can be the most important component.  The timing and need to establish paternity can be critical in the beginning of a case, especially if one parent is threatening to move away.  Hiring an experienced lawyer in paternity, timesharing, and child support matters can make all the difference in obtaining a great result.

Mackey Law Group’s skilled attorneys are in Manatee and Sarasota courts on paternity cases winning day-in and day-out. Call us: (941)-746-6225.

By: B. Kyle Stalnaker, Esq.