Unwed Fathers Must Establish Paternity In Florida To Preserve Important Rights

Paternity.jpegIn Florida there are several ways an unwed father can establish paternity to preserve their rights as a biological parent. Generally in Florida the biological mother’s rights are superior to an unwed biological father until he has taken steps to establish his paternity under the law. Florida Statute 742.10 governs the establishment of paternity for children born out of wedlock.

The statute provides that “if an adjudicatory proceeding was not held, a notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, which is witnessed by two individuals and signed under penalty of perjury as specified by s. 92.525(2), creates a rebuttable presumption, as defined by s. 90.304, of paternity and is subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the acknowledgment within 60 days after the date the acknowledgment was signed or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order, in which the signatory is a party, whichever is earlier.”

The statute also provides that “both parties must provide their social security numbers on any acknowledgement of paternity, consent affidavit, or stipulation of paternity.” The father should also file a Claim of Paternity form with the Florida Putative Father Registry which charges a minor fee. If the father is not on the birth certificate he must get the mother’s permission to be added or seek an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.

The father is presumed to be the biological father if he has filed an affidavit of paternity in conjunction with the child’s mother at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth or by subsequently filing an acknowledgement of paternity in conjunction with the child’s mother with the State Office of Vital Statistics.

If you have questions about establishing paternity in Florida, call a Florida Family Law Attorney.