Many individuals may go through their entire lives without any issues regarding the identities of their children. However, you may find yourself in a situation where paternity does come into question, and if you hope to gain rights as a father, you may find the establishing of paternity of particular interest.
You may come across a variety of issues that could present themselves if you hope to establish your paternity of a child, especially if assumed paternity has already come into play.
A variety of scenarios could result in parties assuming the paternity of a child. Most often, the assumption comes when a married couple has a child. Many individuals do not consider it a logical leap to believe that the husband of the woman who gave birth fathered the child. However, that assumption may not always prove true as a multitude of circumstances could result in the child having a different biological father.
Assumed paternity also has more implications than just relating to outside parties making assumptions regarding the paternity of a child. A person may wish to assume paternity in order to care for a child, even if the man did not take part in the child's conception.
Other ways in which assumed paternity occurs include:
- An unmarried couple marrying soon after the birth of the child
- An unmarried couple signing a form indicating paternity
- A man agrees to have his name put on the birth certificate
- Equitable parental custody rights granted by the court
If an unmarried biological father does not take such actions, the possibility exists that another individual could take steps to assume the role.
There are instances where some mothers may be in desperate need of financial support from suspected biological fathers who refuse to play any role in a child's life. In these instances, either a state agency or the mother herself can file a paternity lawsuit against the suspected biological father. This would force the alleged father into a court appearance and most likely some form of blood or DNA testing. A positive paternity test would result in a court order requiring child support going forward.
Because establishing paternity can cause many emotional and legal complications, attempting to tackle such an issue alone may not work in your best interests. Therefore, if you hope to prove your biological connection to a child in hopes of enforcing your parental rights, you may wish to speak to an experienced Florida attorney who could help you through the process and help you understand the necessary steps of establishing paternity.