When we discuss child custody laws, we usually talk about them in the context of divorce. However, it’s important to note that child custody laws can apply in cases where the parents were never married.
Florida law provides that all parents generally have rights and responsibilities with regard to their children. This means that parents have rights to visit their children and to make important decisions about their upbringing. They also must provide financial support to take care of their children’s needs. This means that if the child does not live with the parent, the parent must pay child support.
Paternity must be established in cases involving unmarried parents. Florida law generally assumes that a baby born to a married woman is the child of her husband. In many cases where a child has been born to an unmarried mother, the father acknowledges his paternity.
If neither of these conditions applies to a case, a court may order the suspected father to submit a DNA sample for a paternity test. In some cases, a man may request a paternity test in order to prove he is or is not the father.
Rights and responsibilities
Because parenthood comes with responsibilities, a paternity test often means an unmarried father will have to start making regular payments for the support of the child. These are administered by the Florida Department of Revenue. These payments are for the food, shelter and other needs of the child. A parent who falls behind in these payments can get into serious financial and legal trouble.
However, parenthood also comes with custody rights. Once paternity has been established, the unmarried father can request time to visit with the child, and to have a say in decisions about the child’s education and other important matters.
Parenthood can be incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding. It is a deeply personal and meaningful experience. However, parenthood is also a legal state, and can raise complicated legal issues. Unmarried parents who want to know more should consult with an experienced family law attorney.