When a father calls me and tells me that they have broken up with the child’s mother yet they have a child together then I have to tell the Father about the laws in Florida regarding Paternity. In the State of Florida, if a child is born and the parents are not married then Paternity must be established to give the father parental rights – parental rights are not automatic for the father even if the Paternity is presumed because the father signed the birth certificate.
This issue comes up often throughout the year but is very prevalent during the holidays. If you are a father and want to spend time with your child from a previous relationship (not marriage) but have never been adjudicated (established or declared by the court) the father then the police cannot help you. The Court should not even grant an Emergency Motion in your favor in this situation if you have not been adjudicated the father already. An attorney who represents both mothers and fathers – and I am one of them – probably knows this and will advise their client accordingly. At the Law Offices of William S. Orth I can help you gain parental rights if you are the father of a child but have not been adjudicated the father. Don’t wait until a situation comes up – rarely will the court deem adjudication of Paternity an emergency. It is a potentially a long process and may involve DNA testing if the mother does not agree.