Establishing Rights & Support For Your Child

At the James Turner Law Firm, LLC we advise and represent fathers seeking paternity rights, as well as mothers seeking to establish the fatherhood of a child. We prepare all necessary court petitions and papers and are prepared to help you assert your rights after paternity is established.  If you know that you may be the father of a child and you need to speak with an attorney about your rights, call Milton paternity lawyer James Turner to discuss the matter.

What is Paternity?
Paternity is the legal recognition of a parental relationship between a man and a child. By acknowledging paternity, the man assumes all parental responsibilities and duties. In Florida, as in most states, paternity is not automatically assigned at birth. A child born out of wedlock does not have a legal father until paternity is properly established. Even if a father’s name appears on the birth certificate. Alternatively, if a child is born to a wed mother, her husband is the presumed father.

Either a mother or a father can start a paternity action. Mothers usually initiate the proceeding in order to establish child support for their children. Unmarried fathers don't have custodial rights to their children until they are established by law. Fathers usually initiate paternity proceedings to establish parental responsibility and time-sharing

Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity is a complex process. Since Florida only recognizes automatic paternity in the case of a married mother, the state offers four alternatives:

  • Legitimation:  The child’s biological parents marry and subsequently revise the birth record to include the father’s name. Birth records are updated through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics and require proper documentation. 

  • Acknowledgement of Paternity:  Parents sign a legal document identifying the paternity of the child. 

  • Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing:  The Florida Department of Revenue offers this service to paternity seeking parents. The alleged father, mother and child take a genetic test. If the results show the alleged father to be the biological father, a legal document is issued to the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. The father is then added to the child’s birth record and is responsible for all associated duties. 

  • Court Order:  A hearing is conducted to determine the paternity of the child. A judge oversees the case and may order a genetic test. Parents are subject to paternity testing costs and court fees. 

Importance of Paternity

Caught in the stress and emotional strain of litigation, clients commonly forget why establishing paternity is important. Your child’s development, sense of self and well-being are powerfully linked to his or her paternity.  There are many ways paternity can play a role in both yours and a child’s life:

  • Supporting the Child:  Supporting a child is both an emotional and financial feat. In Florida, established paternity is required for child support and visitation rights. The comfort of monetary stability and the presence of both parents at important times in their life can mean the world to a child.
  • Benefits to the Child: Paternity dictates a child’s ability to inherit or afford access to parental benefits. Health insurance, Social Security benefits, disability benefits and inheritance require established paternity. 

  • Establishment of Time-sharing:  Creating a schedule for both parents to spend time with their child is very important. Paternity actions provide a venue to establish this time-sharing schedule.

  • The Right to Challenge or Stop the Adoption of Your Child.

At the James Turner Law Firm, LLC, Milton paternity attorney James Turner can counsel you if you are a mother seeking a paternity action to identify the father of your child for purposes of determining child support obligations. He speaks for fathers, too, whose paternity suits can help them gain child custody and visitation rights. He also accepts cases from male clients whose paternity suit could prove they are not the father in a given case.

Call (850) 983-0725 today to schedule an initial consultation.

If the James Turner Law Firm, LLC can help with paternity actions you may be considering, or in the event you have been served with a paternity suit, please notify our law offices as soon as possible.
Clients of the James Turner Law Firm, LLC know that excellence is in the very foundation of the firm.  Clients hire our firm for a reason: aggressive and quality representation.  We will always protect and pursue our clients’ interests to the extent of what the law allows.  We pursue a course of calculated aggression so as not over litigate when the case does not require it.  Essentially, it is our job to provide you with the most cost-effective, aggressive representation possible and we strive to do that each and every day.
Copyright 2015.  James Turner Law Firm, LLC.  The Milton, Florida, office of The James Turner Law Firm, LLC, serves clients throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, including Pensacola, Bellview, Gonzalez, Century, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Cantonment, Molino, Perdido Key, Walnut Hill, Bagdad, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola Beach; counties including Santa Rosa County and Escambia County; as well as Eglin Air Force Base, Whiting Field and NAS Pensacola (Naval Air Station).
(850) 983-0725

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5208 Elmira Street • Milton, Florida 32570
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