When the mother and alleged father are in agreement as to the child’s parentage, they can sign what is known as a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form. When you sign this form, you are stating, under oath, that the man listed is the child’s legal father. Once signed, it takes 60 days for the acknowledgement to become final. After that initial period, neither parent can revoke it, unless they can present in court proof of fraud or extreme force used to get the signature.
When there is discrepancy or disagreement as to a child’s parentage, the mother or alleged father may petition the court to establish paternity. This process can be started by the mother, the man who has been identified as the father, the child through a legal representative, or the Florida Department of Child Services. Cases can be started before a child’s birth, but cannot be held until the child is born.
The court will order a genetic test to prove or disprove alleged paternity. Following the results of this examination, the judge may make orders as it pertains to child support, decision-making authority, parenting time, health insurance of the child, or payment of either party’s attorney fees and court costs.
If you are involved in a paternity dispute, the attorneys of The Orlando Law Group are here to help! Call us at 407.512.4394 to schedule a consultation!