We live in a modernized world in which not all couples choose to marry before starting a family. However, like married couples, those who remain unwed still experience breakups that can threaten the entire family. When unmarried dads lose access to their children, it is heartbreaking and harmful to fathers and kids alike.
Our West Palm Beach, Florida, lawyers want dads to know that you can protect your rights as a father even if you never married the mother of your kids. It begins when the baby is born, which is your first opportunity to protect your rights.
There are two ways to establish paternity
Upon the birth of your child, you and your co-parent can sign a legal document in which you both voluntarily acknowledge that you are the child’s father.
If you and your partner do not sign the document, you can protect your rights by establishing paternity legally. As you might expect, this means getting a DNA test proving that you are the child’s father. In our state, you must file a document called Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief.
After your test proves that you are the child’s dad, then you can take additional legal steps to preserve your parental relationship. For example, you can go on to establish child custody and parenting plans, which ensures that your fathers’ rights remain protected throughout your kid’s childhood.
We know how romance can sometimes overrule common sense. Most couples never expect their relationships to falter or come to an end. While this is a beautiful sentiment, it is unwise not to view your circumstances realistically and take steps to protect yourself and your children.
We invite you to continue reading the information on our website to learn more about fathers’ rights in Florida. You may also reach out to our team for personalized answers to your questions.