Paternity Actions in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota, Pinellas County, and surrounding West Florida areas.
A unique set of rights and responsibilities arises when one becomes a parent, and establishing paternity has important legal ramifications. A paternity action can be brought by either a father or mother who are not married to establish the paternity of a child, as well as the rights and obligations of each party concerning that child. Although every paternity action is unique and factually complex, paternity actions are usually brought to establish a timesharing plan for the child (formerly referred to as child custody), as well as child support between the parties. Paternity actions can also be brought to determine the identity of the biological father if this is in dispute. Once the Court determines the identity of the legal father, either by DNA evidence or by voluntary acknowledgement, certain rights and obligations attach to that title.
In most circumstances, the legal father has the right to timesharing with the child, and paternity actions resolve disputes over any timesharing schedule. Paternity actions also involve disputes over child support as parents have a legal duty to support their children, and the state of Florida requires the use of statutory child support guidelines to ensure that children are adequately provided for, especially when one parent has more financial means than the other.
If you need assistance with a paternity action, please contact our office, as our attorneys routinely handle paternity actions, child support disputes, and custody disputes for clients in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota, Pinellas County, and the surrounding West Florida areas.