Paternity Suits in Tampa Florida

How do you protect and enforce your parental rights?

If you are a father who never married the mother of your children, how do you protect and enforce your parental rights?  If you are unsure if you are the father, how do you find out for sure?  If you are a mother who never married the father, how do you protect your children’s best interests?  The Supreme Court of the United States and the Florida Supreme Court have both ruled that parental rights are fundamental rights.  We handle our clients’ cases in this area of law with the upmost respect and thoroughness they deserve.

Establishing Paternity

In order to enforce and protect his parental rights in situations where the parents of children never married, the father (even if you are listed as the father on the birth certificates) must get an Order from a judge ruling that he is the natural and legal father of his children. We accomplish this by filing what is typically called a “Paternity case.” Either a father who wants to prove that he is or isn’t the father or a mother who wants to establish a father’s paternity can file a Paternity case. DNA testing may or may not be required to prove a father’s paternity.

Once a father’s paternity has been proven, the mother and father will be viewed equally by the Court, and the Court must then proceed to enter an Order called a “Parenting Plan.” While the Parenting Plan must determine all of these issues involving the children, one of the most important matters that must be decided is now called “timesharing” (what used to be called custody and visitation). Timesharing determines when the children are to be with each parent. Furthermore, the amount of timesharing that a parent is awarded can affect the child support that the parent is ordered to receive or pay.

So many questions need to be answered in any case involving children:

  • What is the timesharing schedule going to be?
  • Should timesharing be supervised or in some other way limited?
  • Who will be responsible for making the major life decisions for the children that need to be made?
  • How will holidays be handled?
  • What about summers?
  • What is the best way for the children to be exchanged between the parents?
  • Can each parent leave the State of Florida when they have the children?
  • What has to happen if one parent wants to relocate with the children?
  • How should the children communicate with one parent while they are with the other parent?

At Greater Tampa Law P.L., we will get you the answers to these questions and more.  Along with our vast knowledge and experience, we make sure that the best interest of your children are always protected.

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