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What Does “Paternity” Mean?


Paternity is the determination that someone is the father of a child.


Establishing paternity is necessary in order to gain rights as a father such as visitation and custody (see “Parenting Plans”) and to give rights to the child such as child support and inheritance.

How is Paternity Established?


Under Florida law, if you are married when your wife gives birth, you are automatically presumed to be the child’s father. With this presumption comes all of the parental rights and responsibilities of fatherhood.


If you are not married when your child is born, establishing paternity is more complicated than simply signing your child’s birth certificate. To be legally recognized as the child’s father in Florida, there are four legal options available:


  1.  Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

  2.  Legitimation

  3.  Administrative Order Based on DNA Test

  4.  Petition to Establish Paternity


Each option above has a detailed and distinct process, but they all have the exact same goal: to establish paternity of your child. Wyndi Wheaton and her team can help you determine which option is best for you and will assist you through the process of establishing paternity of your child.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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