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Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A.


Assisting clients throughout South Florida

Fathers can be denied rights to their children because they are not legally recognized. For children born outside of marriage, paternity must be established in one of several ways before an individual can be considered the father of a child and have parental rights. An adjudication of paternity along with support and parenting orders is important for fathers to gain rights to their child. Otherwise the mother, under the Florida law of guardianship, is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters required orders. The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. has the experience to guide you through the process of establishing or challenging paternity.

How do I establish paternity in Florida?

Paternity directly affects a man’s rights and responsibilities to a child, including:

  • Child support
  • Parenting plans
  • Time-sharing

Legal paternity has to be established for a child born to an unwed mother. The father can sign a legal document acknowledging paternity either in the hospital when the child is born or at a later date. If the mother is married when the child is born, then her husband is presumed to be the legal father of the child. Mothers and fathers can file actions in Florida to establish legal paternity, child support, and a parenting plan.

What is the difference between legal and biological paternity?

The legal father is the person recognized by the court. He enjoys all the legal rights and responsibilities of a father. When a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the father, even if the mother was having an affair. In other words, if a woman is married, it does not matter whether her husband is the biological father. He is presumed by law to be the legal father. If the husband later decides to challenge paternity or another man wants to establish paternity of the child, the issue must be decided by a judge. Paternity issues often arise during divorce or dissolution of marriage, and it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer protecting your interests.

What if I do not believe I am the father?

If a mother seeks child support from you and you believe you are not the father of the child in question, you can file a paternity action to contest the child support request. All the parties must submit to a DNA test, and the court determines paternity based on the test results. We provide high-quality representation in paternity actions and any subsequent child custody and child support actions.

Contact a Miami-based paternity attorney today

If you believe that you are the father of a child and seek legal rights, or you believe that you are not the father and wish to contest child support orders, we guide you through the process with knowledge gained from 50 years’ experience. We also help mothers ensure that their children are protected and receive the support they deserve by establishing paternity. We are available by appointment. Contact The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. today at 786-991-2629 or online to schedule a consultation. Se habla español.


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