Broward County, Florida Child Support & Custody Attorneys
When a married woman gives birth to a child, there is a legal presumption that the woman's husband is the child's biological father. However, when a child is born out of wedlock, no such presumption exists. At the Law Offices of Mark Abzug, PA, we have handled complex and sometimes emotional cases involving paternity.
To discuss your case in a consultation at a discounted rate, please contact us online or call (954) 753-1003. Our office is located in Coral Springs, and we serve clients throughout Broward County.
Pursuant to Florida Statute §742.11, any woman who has a child or any man who has reason to believe that he is the father of a child, may bring proceedings in the circuit court, to determine the paternity of the child when paternity has not been established by law or otherwise.
These proceedings can be in the circuit court of the county where the mother or putative father resides. The court shall determine the issues of paternity of the child and the ability of the parents to support the child. If a judgment of paternity contains no explicit award of custody, the establishment of a support obligation or of visitation rights in one parent shall be considered a judgment granting primary residential care and custody to the other parent without prejudice. If a paternity judgment contains no such provisions, custody shall be presumed to be with the mother. F.S. §742.031.
Paternity Tests: Determining Paternity Through DNA Testing
The mere presence of a man's name on a child's birth certificate does not establish paternity. Generally, a man who is sued by a woman seeking to establish paternity has the right to require the woman to submit to paternity testing. Similarly, a woman that is sued by a man seeking to establish paternity generally has the same rights. Of course, there are exceptions to these general rules and you should consult with an attorney for more information.
Time Sharing in Paternity Actions
In the event that paternity testing rules out a man as being the father of a child, he owes no support obligation and enjoys no custodial or visitation rights. However, if the paternity testing proves the man is the father, then a potential child support obligation will be created.
In all new cases, the court is required to approve or create a parenting plan (formerly known as visitation.) This encompasses a time sharing schedule as well as other instructions on how arrangements will be made. A parenting plan can be customized to address any issue involving the child: education, health, etc.
Call our office at (954) 753-1003 to discuss any concerns you have about the paternity of your child. You may also fill out our online contact form to provide our attorney with more information about your case.