If there’s one thing that’s sure to stir up confusion among many of our clients, it’s Florida’s paternity laws. While fatherhood should seem fairly straightforward, legally establishing paternity is a lot more complex than some might think. For example, think having the father’s name on the birth certificate is enough to establish paternity in Florida? Think again.
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 family medical history, health and life insurance, financial support, and a right to inheritances and other benefits. There are other legal reasons as well, such as protecting the father’s rights to visitation or custody.
While it’s recommended to establish paternity right away, there is a time limit to when it can be done. In Florida, the statute of limitations for establishing paternity is when the child reaches 22 years of age, which is four years after the child reaches the age of majority (in Florida, that’s 18 years old).
How to establish paternity
There are a handful of ways to establish paternity in Florida. You can read through five of them on our blog here.
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. For that, contact us at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group anytime with questions or to schedule a free consultation.