PATERNITY – FORT LAUDERDALE / MIAMI
In Florida, any woman who is pregnant or has a child, or any man who has reason to believe that he is the father of a child, may bring an action for paternity in the Circuit Court. The signing of a paternity acknowledgment and the child’s birth certificate by the parents “may” already constitute an establishment of paternity that may only be challenged in Court under certain circumstances. There are two ways that paternity is established in the Florida Court.
There are two ways that paternity is established in the Florida Court:
Child Support: For the purpose of paying an obligation of child support, the Court can accept a birth certificate and oral testimony that the party is the biological parent of the minor child or children. In my experience it is the Department of Revenue (DOR) that brings these types of actions before the hearing officers in the Circuit Court.
In this instance the establishment of paternity is only for child support purposes but does not give the non-custodial parent rights to “time sharing” of the minor child. The Court looks at that parent as a legal stranger. That parent cannot claim an entitled right to be enforced before the Court.
Paternity Action: The Florida Statutes allows a parent to file a petition for the establishment of paternity with the Florida Courts. The first step is to file a petition with the courts and have the other parent served with process to get the Court’s attention to move the case forward procedurally. Once sufficient evidence is presented the Court will issue an order establishing paternity indicating that parent is the biological parent.
After the order is signed by the judge that non-custodial parent can file a motion to establish a parenting plan that will address time sharing, parental responsibility, sharing the child tax credit, vacations, and much more.
If paternity has previously been established by law or otherwise, Florida law also now provides a method by which a man may dis-establish paternity or terminate a child his support obligation if he learns the child is not his. You may still be able to obtain a paternity test even if paternity has previously been established.
Establishing a proper parenting plan and child support obligation for children whose parents never married is extremely important to the well being of your children.
A premarital agreement becomes effective upon marriage. After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended, revoked, or abandoned only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement, revocation, or abandonment is enforceable without consideration.
If a marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.
Pre nuptials can be made to fit any marriage, but once once again I must warn that the parties cannot waive child support or the financial inferior spouse’s right to demand temporary attorney’s fees. This goes against public policy in Florida since the child cannot maintain himself and the financially inferior spouse has the right to be at equal footing in litigation if the other spouse has the ability to provide temporary fees.