When establishing paternity in Florida, a DNA test could be used to determine who the biological father of a child is. However, a man can be designated as the legal father of a child even if he is not the biological father. Legally recognizing a father gives him the rights and responsibilities of raising a child.
Here are some terms that apply to fatherhood in Florida:
Acknowledged Father – When the parents of a child are unmarried, a biological father can admit to fathering a child. Without going to court, parents could sign an acknowledgment of paternity that gives information about what both parties are agreeing to.
Presumed or Prospective Father – This has multiple definitions and could include a man:
- Married to the mother when a child was born or conceived
- Married to the mother who agrees to support the child and have his name on the birth certificate
- Who cohabited with the mother when the child was conceived
- Who supports or promises to support a child and claims paternity
- Named as the father by the mother on a birth certificate or when seeking public assistance
Putative Father – This is a man who claims to be a child’s biological father but is not legally recognized as the father. The Putative Father Registry allows a man to receive notice in case of a prospective adoption.
As legal and biological paternity can be two different things, establishing paternity could become complicated if multiple men claim a relationship to a child. A paternity suit might be filed to legally determine who the father of a child is if a disagreement about paternity exists. Contact us today for more information about establishing paternity in Florida.