If you are the father of a child in Florida and are looking to have legal rights and benefits to that child, it is important to establish paternity. Only if you are legally established as the child’s father will you have access to the child’s medical history, the right to get a child support order, and the right to share time with the child if necessary. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, children who are born to married parents will automatically have a legal father, but those born outside of wedlock must have paternity established.
In the event that the parents are unmarried at the child’s birth, the quickest way to establish paternity is to do so at the hospital. If both parents are present at the birth of the child, paternity can be established immediately.
If the legal mother of the child is not married to the father at the time of the child’s birth but later on goes to marry the father, paternity may be established when the couple applies for a marriage license. There is also no need for the parents to be married if this is not desirable. Paternity may be established with the voluntary consent of both parents even if marriage is not involved.
In the event that the father cannot get voluntary consent from the mother for paternity, there are legal options. A case may be taken to court, where a judge may establish paternity. There are also avenues through the Florida Department of Revenue which will establish paternity for you. Both of these options will require genetic testing to prove that you are indeed the biological father of the child.