At the Law Offices of S. G. Morrow & Associates, we help individuals establish paternity, disprove/disestablish paternity, and provide legal assistance to those seeking to enforce or terminate child support obligations. Our experienced Deerfield Beach paternity and family law attorneys can help you determine the best legal options for your unique situation.
Having paternity means that you have the rights and responsibilities over a child. Paternity suits come in two main varieties. A person either wants to prove they have parental rights or they want to prove they do not. Once that has been proven or disproven either way, however, there can be a number of complexities. For instance, there are questions about time sharing and child support that must be answered.
If you want to establish paternity, you will need to file a Verified Complaint to Establish Paternity. This is a court request to prove that someone has paternity over a child. It could be filed by someone who has been disenfranchised from their children. It could also be used to force someone to have parental rights over a child. For instance, if a mother knows who the father of her child is but they deny it, they can use this method to attempt to persuade the court that the person in question is the legal father. More often, it’s used by people who want to become a parent.
If a man or woman wants to become the legal guardian of a child, this is also the method. For instance, if a woman has a child out of wedlock and the father wants to help raise the child as the legal father, a Verified Complaint to Establish Paternity can make this possible.
On the other hand, a man may doubt the paternity of a child. Sadly, some men are tricked into becoming parents. Later, new evidence may present itself to demonstrate that they were misled or falsely assumed that they were the father. Until 2006, once the birth certificate was signed there was nothing that could be done through the courts to remove a person’s parental rights.
Now if a man is told or has reason to believe the child is not his, he can file a Petition to Disestablish Paternity and request a paternity test. Genetic testing will prove whether or not a child does biologically belong to a child. If it is proven that the child is not a biological relation, disestablishment will be granted and the man will no longer be required to pay child support. Sadly, the law does not provide for the return of all the money he may have paid over the years for a child that was not his.
Whether establishing or disestablishing paternity, each unique situation must be treated with the utmost respect. Paternity is an extremely sensitive subject. It is our job to get the court to see your side of the argument. We protect the rights of mothers and potential fathers, and we’ll make sure your rights are protected before the paternity test and after the test results. If you live in Deerfield Beach or anywhere else in South Florida, call us at 754-300-5900 or toll-free at 888-757-0901 and get the answers you deserve.