The Effect of Signing a Birth Certificate in Florida: Does It Provide For Paternal Rights?

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By Whitney R. Lonker, Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
wlonker@woodatter.com

Many children in North Florida and the Jacksonville, Florida area are born out of wedlock. I often receive calls from unmarried fathers and mothers who mistakenly believe that since the father’s name is listed on the birth certificate, that the father has established his paternity or legal parentage. That is not so! Florida law differentiates between paternity and parentage. Unmarried fathers must petition the Courts to obtain their parental rights and have a judicial order signed by a Judge that grants them paternity of the child. Establishing paternity by court order grants to the father timesharing or visitation rights, the right to be involved with important decisions regarding the child’s future, etc. If you are an unmarried father or mother looking to establish paternity in the Jacksonville, Orange Park, Fernandina or St. Augustine, Florida area, please call our firm for advice and answers. We look forward to helping you.