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How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in Florida?

If there’s one thing that’s sure to stir up confusion among many of our clients, it’s Florida paternity laws. While fatherhood should seem reasonably straightforward, legally establishing paternity is much more complex than some might think.

For example, is having the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate enough to establish paternity in Florida? Think again.

You may wonder, “How long does a father have to establish paternity in Florida?” If you believe you are the child’s biological father, there are timelines you should keep in mind. A paternity lawyer at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group will break it down for you.

When to Establish Paternity

We recommend establishing paternity as early as possible to minimize (or avoid altogether) potential obstacles that may pop up down the road.

Establishing paternity and becoming identified as the legal father of the child can help provide the child with the family medical history, health and life insurance, child support, and a right to inheritances and other benefits. There are other legal reasons, such as protecting the father’s rights to visitation or child custody.

While it’s recommended to establish paternity right away, there is a time limit to which the alleged father can apply for it to be done.

According to Florida paternity law, the statute of limitations for establishing paternity is when the child reaches 22 years of age, which is four years after the child in question reaches the age of majority (in Florida, that’s 18 years old).

How To Be Deemed The Child’s Legal Father

There are a handful of ways the child’s legal father can establish paternity in Florida.

As you will see, the journey can be simple when the child’s mother is married to the alleged father of the child. The process can also be complicated, involving a court order. If you find yourself bogged down by Florida paternity law, contact a legal representative at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group.

Contact A Family Law Attorney

While some ways are more straightforward than others, we recommend turning to legal counsel for the best guidance on how to proceed with your unique family situation.

If you or someone you know wants to be deemed a child’s father, contact the Vasquez de Lara Law Group anytime with questions or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney.