Florida paternity is established by marriage or the Court, not by signing a Birth Certificate. A Birth Certificate does nothing more than give the presumption that you are, in fact, the father of your child. If you are not married to the mother ( at least 10% of couples living together are not married), then the Court does not recognize you as the baby’s daddy.
To establish your rights to the child, it is important that you speak with an attorney so that your child does not grow-up without you. What you need to ask your attorney:
1. How do I file a Petition to Establish Paternity?
2. Do I need to take a Paternity test?
— This is dependent upon whether the parties agree with each other, if there is reason to believe you are not the father, or if another man is listed as the father on the birth certificate.
3. How is Florida child support determined?
4. How is visitation determined?
— Florida now has a timesharing plan that needs to be filed with the Court. This can be visitation that ranges from every-other-weekend to 50% of the time, if not more.
5. Is there a way to do this with the Mother agreeing?
— If you and the mother can work an agreement on a number of the issues, it still needs to be formalized with the court. However, you can file a consent agreement, meaning you both agree to the above issues regarding your child.