Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights Attorney
A healthy, loving relationship with your child improves the quality of life for both the parent and the child. However, if you are an unmarried father or not currently living with the mother of your child, you may face legal obstacles to forming the relationship you desire with your children.
According to Florida law, an unmarried mother has complete rights and responsibility regarding her minor child, unless or until the biological father either chooses or is forced to take responsibility for the child through the courts.
Either a father or a mother can start paternity proceedings. A father may request to be acknowledged as the rightful biological parent and take on support payments as part of the effort to gain rights of access and time-sharing. A mother may start paternity proceedings in order to establish parentage for her child and ensure that she receives the funds she needs to adequately provide for the shared offspring.
At Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, the dedicated, motivated, and experienced Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights attorneys guide you through the process of obtaining your rights as a father. We explain what steps may need to be taken to establish paternity, help you understand your potential support obligation and if retroactive pay may apply in your case, and assist you with developing a time-sharing plan that provides you with ample, equitable time to build a solid relationship with your minor children.
Call Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law at (954) 513-4001 for a Free Consultation!
Establishing Father’s Rights
In Fort Lauderdale, an unmarried father has no legal rights to his minor child until paternity has been legally acknowledged, even if he is named as the father on the legal birth certificate.
In order for a father to establish a legal relationship with their child, there are several steps that must be taken. Before a father can fully enjoy the rights of time-sharing and access, he must first prove himself willing to take on the responsibilities associated with being a parent.
Before any legal action regarding custody or support is taken, paternity must first be established, proving that he is the rightful and biological father of the child. Paternity is not always contested, and if both parents agree that he is the father, this is usually enough to establish parentage. However, if either parent doubts the man’s role as the natural father, a paternity test can be requested or ordered for a more definitive answer.
Just because you have legally been established as the child’s father does not mean that you automatically enjoy the same rights as a married parent. You must first prove your willingness to support the child by adhering to a regular child support payment that is intended to improve the child’s quality of life, just as any father would be expected to do.
From this point, you can seek to build a legally-protected relationship with your child by establishing a time-sharing and custody plan with your attorney for approval by the court system.
The Importance of Legally Protecting Your Relationship
A father may seek to have a relationship with their child at any time, without the court’s involvement, by communicating and working directly with the child’s mother through an informal agreement. This is a relatively common arrangement for unmarried parents who are still dating, living together, or otherwise in a relationship.
However, without having the legal support of the Florida court, the mother of the child can choose to deny access or communication with the child for any or no reason whatsoever. This means if the mother of your child wants to end the relationship, relocate, or otherwise deny you access to your child for any reason, they are completely within their rights to do so.
An experienced Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights attorney, like the dedicated family lawyers at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, will advocate for and help to protect your right to a loving and supportive relationship with your minor child, regardless of your relationship with the mother.
Divorced Father’s Rights
Divorced fathers face many of the same issues of child custody and child support as unmarried fathers; however, they are assumed to be the biological father of the couple’s shared children, meaning that proving paternity is not a necessary step unless paternity is contested at this point.
Having a father that is invested in building a relationship with their child can have substantial positive impacts on a child’s mental well-being and emotional growth, which supports success in other areas of their life, such as academics. Divorce raises a lot of questions for both parents and children. Being able to reassure your child that they will not lose their relationship with you can mean a lot to their sense of security during this complex period.
Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law is here to provide competent and zealous legal support and representation throughout all matters related to your divorce. From asset distribution to developing a custody plan that meets your lifestyle, our goal is to ensure you are able to build the best life possible for you and your children post-divorce.
Contesting Established Paternity
Though heartbreaking, there are times when a father, who has generally accepted and treated a child as their own, finds that there may be a reason to question the biological paternity of their child. There may also be instances where a man has been named by a woman as the rightful father of her child, yet he has reasonable doubt to the veracity of that claim.
Whether you are struggling to disprove or prove your role as a rightful biological father to a minor child, a Fort Lauderdale, FL father’s rights attorney can help you get the results you desire.
Denying paternity is a much less complicated process if you never assumed responsibility for the child in the first place, such as in the case of an unmarried father who was not with the mother at the time of the child’s birth. A simple court-ordered paternity test can end the dispute with almost 100% accuracy, determining once and for all if you are the rightful and biological father to the child.
A man who has previously acted as the father figure to a child, but now has reasons to doubt the child’s biological parentage, is in a much more complicated position. While the mother’s actions are in no way the fault of the child, it is the child that will be most impacted by renouncing your paternity. Florida courts are very reluctant to render a child fatherless, even if it is confirmed that the man acting as a parent figure to the child is not their biological father.
Our dedicated Fort Lauderdale paternity attorneys help you calmly navigate this incredibly complex issue. If you have discovered that child you have taken responsibility for is not biologically yours, or if you have been named as the father of a child that you have reason to believe is not yours, our talented attorneys guide you in making smart choices throughout the paternity process.
Let’s Talk Now- Free Consultation
Every child and every father deserves the opportunity to build a healthy and loving relationship. If you are ready to take financial responsibility for your child, want to begin the process of obtaining rights of access, or want to protect your existing relationship with your minor child, the Fort Lauderdale Father’s Rights attorneys at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law are dedicated and motivated to assisting you.
Call Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law today at (954) 513-4001 for your Free Consultation!