Tampa Paternity Family Law Attorneys | Hillsborough County Paternity Issues

What is paternity and what does it mean for you?

Do I try to prove who is the father? See a family paternity lawyer in Tampa today.

Paternity refers to fatherhood, or the legal and biological relationship to a child. In Florida, a man is presumed to be the legal father of a child if he legally adopted the child; was married to the biological mother of the child at the time the child was conceived or born; married the legal mother of the child after the child was born and recognized the child as his own; or has legitimated the child in court and has not surrendered or had terminated his rights to the child.

Any woman who is pregnant or has a child, any man who has reason to believe that he is the father of a child, or any child may start a court action to determine the paternity. Understanding these complicated rules can be difficult, and you will need the help of a well qualified Tampa paternity lawyer if you are caught up in a paternity dispute.


Acknowledgment of Paternity, DNA Testing, & Paternity Disputes Lawyers

If the man is unmarried and not a presumed legal father under the above circumstances, then there is no legal father for the child unless the court finds the man to be the father through DNA paternity testing, the man consents to having his name placed on the birth certificate, or the man and the child's mother sign an acknowledgment of paternity and the acknowledgment is filed in the putative father registry. Even if both parents agree to an acknowledgment of paternity, the court may have to determine custody, visitation, child support, and other parental rights.

If an unmarried biological father wants to preserve his right to be notified of and consent to adoption of a child, he must file a notarized claim of paternity form with the Florida Putative Father Registry which includes a statement that he is willing and he intends to support the child. The claim of paternity may be filed at any time before the child is born, but it may not be filed after a petition is filed for termination of parental rights. If someone other than the father adopts the child, the father's responsibility to support the child will end.

The father of a child is responsible to provide child support. Call today to get help.

What happens if the mother or the man who signed the acknowledgment of paternity gets new information suggesting that the man is not the father?

The parties have 60 days to rescind their acknowledgment of paternity after the date the acknowledgment was signed or the date of an administrative or court proceeding about the child (or about child support), whichever is earlier. If the 60 day period to rescind an acknowledgment of paternity has passed, a party may only challenge it on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the person challenging the acknowledgment. A party may also challenge paternity on the basis of newly discovered evidence. During that time the court will not relieve the man of child support obligations except for good cause.

If a party files suit to determine paternity, the court will order genetic DNA testing. It will be necessary for the alleged father, child, and mother all to be tested. If the results prove that the alleged father is in fact the father, he will be officially named as such and the court may order the father to pay child support if he had not previously been ordered to do so. If the paternity test reveals the man to be the father, he may also be forced to pay for the expenses of the paternity testing, all costs of the court case, and pay the mother, guardian, or any other person assuming responsibility for the child enough money to cover reasonable attorney's fees, hospital or medical expenses, cost of confinement, and any other expenses related to the birth of the child.

If the mother refuses to submit herself or the child to testing, judgment will automatically be entered in favor of the alleged father. Any party that fails to submit the results of the paternity test may also risk being held in contempt by the court.

A paternity dispute is a serious legal matter that can have life-long personal and financial ramifications if not handled properly. If you find yourself caught in a paternity dispute, there are time limits in which to act and strict court procedures you must follow. You should immediately contact an experienced Tampa paternity lawyer or Hillsborough County paternity suit lawyer to help you understand your rights.


Centers for DNA Paternity Testing in the Tampa Area

The Tampa DNA Paternity Clinic
(813) 915-6686
DDC Paternity Test
(800) 681-6583
Any Lab Test Now
(813) 600-5255
DNA Testing Solutions
(813) 915-0000
DNA Paternity Laboratory
(813) 237-4200
DNA Testing of Tampa
(813) 908-6355
DNA Diagnostics Center
(800) 310-9286
Private Testing Center
(888) 249-6716
DNA Solutions
(866) 362-977
(877) 786-9543


Rapid DNA Testing Locations

4710 N. Habana Avenue Suite 102
Tampa, FL 33614
(866) 592-9497
4803 George Road Suite 310
Tampa, FL 33634
(866) 592-9497
9625 Wes Kearney Way
Riverview, FL 33578
(866) 592-9497
701 Enterprise Road E. Suite 701
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
(866) 592-9497


If you have any questions about who is the father of a child, call a dedicated Tampa paternity attorney today!

Serving clients throughout Western Florida, including Bloomingdale, Brandon, Clearwater, Dunedin, Egypt Lake-Leto, Feather Sound, Gibsonton, Largo, Lealman, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Palm River, Pinellas Park, Riverdale, Safety Harbor, St. George, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Temple Terrace, Town ‘N’ Country, Westchase, areas in the vicinity of MacDill AFB, Tampa International Airport, and other communities in Hillsborough County.