Addressing Biological Paternity Questions In Florida
While it’s pretty clear who the biological mother of a child is, establishing paternity can sometimes be a little more complex. Paternity can be a touchy issue when two men both believe they are the biological father of a child; it’s not any easier when a woman believes a particular man is the father of her child, and that man denies responsibility. How does the law handle these and other paternity issues in the state of Florida?
Who’s the Father?
In general, when a married couple has a baby it is assumed by law to be the biological child of the two married individuals. Only if there is a challenge to that assumption is any further action necessary. If the husband in the family is unsure that he is the biological father, or if another individual wishes to claim paternity, the dispute can be settled with a court order from a judge ordering genetic testing to settle the matter once and for all.
The Testing Process
The process to undergo genetic testing is pretty simple. It requires the mother, child, and the man in question to go to a Florida State Child Support Office with picture identification (or Social Security card, birth certificate, school identification card, or insurance card for the child). Photos will be taken of each individual in order to connect the swab test with each person. A cotton swab rub will be used to collect skin cells from the inside of the cheeks of each individual, and those samples will be examined in a genetic laboratory. And that’s it!
How Long Does it Take?
Taking the samples themselves takes only a matter of minutes. It may take a few weeks, however, for the lab to determine results and notify you. If the adults tested live in separate locations, both will be mailed the results of the testing.
When the father is identified with at least 99 percent certainty, the Florida Department of Revenue will establish a final order of paternity, and the birth certificate of the child will be reissued with the father’s name on it.
When a Candidate is Eliminated
When a man is determined not to be a child’s father, it can eliminate all legal obligations from him with regard to the child.
Benefits to the Child
When a child knows who their biological father is, the benefits are plenty:
- They will have information about their own medical history;
- They are entitled to support from both parents;
- They are entitled to spend time with both parents;
- They may be eligible for Social Security, veteran’s, or other military benefits;
- They may be eligible for an inheritance.
Getting the Answers You Need
If you are dealing with questions related to paternity, the experienced Boca Raton paternity attorneys at WiseLieberman can help. This can be a complicated time, fraught with emotion. Let us take on the stress and help you find the answers you need. Schedule a confidential consultation today.