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Florida DNA Testing: How to get a Court-Ordered Paternity Test

In Florida family law, there are a host of paternity issues a father could run into. The process of establishing legal rights  is just one of them. A few of the many others may include legal versus biological fatherhood, visitation, and custody rights.

While paternity is automatically established if the parents of the child are married when the child is born, additional steps need to be taken if the parents are unmarried. There are voluntary ways for this to happen, for example when both parents sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form, which becomes legally binding after 60 days of signing it.

There are also court-ordered ways of determining paternity. 

Paternity testing in Florida

Paternity disputes can become particularly tense and challenging when allegations about who the father is come into question. Sometimes these allegations are made to initiate child support payments, in which case the Florida Department of Revenue may also get involved with the case. Other times the mother or alleged father may initiate a petition. In any case, the court may order genetic testing to validate paternity.

When the court orders a paternity test, the mother, child, and alleged father must all schedule appointments to have genetic testing performed. The test consists of collecting skin cell samples from inside each person’s cheeks (no bloodwork is necessary). Once the samples have been collected from the parents and child, the samples will be sent to the lab for testing and analysis.

Our Miami paternity attorney explains some more ways paternity can be established in this article.

It may take up to a few weeks for the results to be processed and delivered. While it can be nerve-wracking to wait for your results, understanding who the biological father is (or isn’t) is frequently a critical part of many family law challenges. For help understanding your rights, responsibilities, and decisions regarding establishing paternity in Florida, contact us today at Vasquez de Lara Law Group.


Frequently Asked Questions


How is paternity established for unmarried parents in Florida?

Paternity for unmarried parents in Florida can be established through voluntary means or court-ordered methods. One voluntary option is for both parents to sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form, which becomes legally binding after 60 days. Alternatively, paternity can be determined through court orders if the need arises.


What is the timeline for establishing paternity in Florida?

In Florida, there is no specific timeline for establishing paternity for unmarried parents. However, it’s essential to take action promptly if you wish to establish paternity. The process can involve voluntary acknowledgment or court-ordered methods, and it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand the steps and timing involved.


What happens after a positive paternity test in Florida?

Steps may be taken to enforce child support after a positive paternity test in Florida. If the paternity test confirms parentage, the Florida Department of Revenue may get involved in child support matters. Initiating a petition or legal action may also be necessary. It’s crucial to understand the legal process and obligations that follow a positive paternity test, and consulting with a family law attorney can provide guidance.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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