Zephyrhills, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 7, 2011 – With the number of children born out-of-wedlock increasing, sometimes it takes effort to determine who a child’s biological father really is. Legally, if the mother is not married at the time of having a child and the boyfriend and her do not mutually agree that he is the father, the child does not have a legal father and the mother is considered the sole legal parent.
“Establishing paternity is essential to ensure the child receives numerous benefits, such as insurance, child support and in many cases Social Security benefits,” said Zephyrhills family law attorney Marcie Baker. “Once paternity is established, many fathers want to be more involved in their child’s life and may request parenting time and a say in the day to day decisions inherent in parenting.”
Unless the mother can get the father to acknowledge paternity, an individual will most likely need a court order for genetic testing to establish paternity. If a court action is needed to order the alleged father to a court hearing and mandate the genetic test, it is called a Judicial Paternity Order. In Florida, the genetic testing is not always invasive. All a lab worker needs is a sample from inside the cheek of the mouth on a large q-tip to send to a lab. The lab will compare the cells of the mother, alleged father, and the child to determine paternity.
If the genetic test confirms paternity, an order will be entered by the court establishing paternity. In a DOR action the Florida Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Program will send an Administrative Order of Paternity and inform the Florida Office of Vital Statistics to add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate.
“It is best if all parties can cooperate when genetic testing is ordered,” said Baker, who practices family law at Alston & Baker, P.A. “If an alleged father was served but fails to show up in court, a judge can default him as the father and make him the legal father. This can have serious financial and other consequences.”
In Zephyrhills and Tampa Bay, child paternity attorney Marcie Baker is a skilled advocate in upholding a child’s interests and an individual’s rights. She knows the latest updates in family law and how to accomplish a client’s goals efficiently.
Alston & Baker, PA
5518 Seventh Street
Zephyrhills, Florida 33542