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Paternity Attorney in Tampa

Need to Establish Paternity? Contact Our Tampa Law Firm Today

In Florida, children conceived or born during marriage are presumed to be the children of the husband and the wife, and all parental rights and obligations belong to the husband and wife. However, paternity is not automatically established when a child is born to an unmarried couple.

If you are looking to establish the paternity of your child and secure the legal rights they are entitled to, you need an experienced Tampa paternity lawyer from Givens Law Group. Our attorneys are highly rated in Best Lawyers of America, Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell.

Call (813) 328-6159 to schedule a consultation about your paternity case.

Understanding the Importance of Paternity in Florida

Why Establishing Paternity Matters for Your Child's Rights

The purpose of a paternity case in Florida is to determine the natural and legal father of a minor child and to award parental rights. The determination of paternity is extremely important since the court cannot issue an order against the father unless paternity is established.

If paternity of a child is disputed a request to the Court can be made to order DNA testing to determine the paternity of the child at issue, once a Petition for Paternity is filed with the Court by either party. If paternity is established based upon the outcome of the DNA test, then the parties can proceed to resolve the issues related to a paternity action, i.e., child custody, visitation and child support.

Legal Steps to Establish Paternity in Tampa

How Paternity is Legally Determined in Florida

There are several different ways to establish whether a man is the natural and legal father of a minor child. The most common and most accurate form of evidence is blood testing.

There are two types of blood tests commonly used in the State of Florida. The first is the HLA test or Human Leukocyte Antigen blood test. Under Florida law, if an HLA test determines that the statistical probability of paternity is 95% or greater, there is a rebuttable presumption that the father is the biological father.

The second test is a form of DNA testing. In this type of blood testing the genetic code of the child is compared with the genetic code of the mother and father. Since the child inherits one-half of his genetic material from each of his parents, a comparison can be made to determine whether the alleged father is the biological father.

Financial Responsibility for Paternity Testing

The costs associated with either form of blood testing are about the same. Sometimes the issue of who should pay for the blood test is raised. Normally, the petitioning mother pays the initial cost of the blood tests; however, in the event that the alleged father is determined to be the biological parent, the Court has the ability to order the father to reimburse the costs of the blood tests to the mother.

In other instances the parties agree to share the costs of the initial blood tests. If the alleged father is determined to be the biological father he would then reimburse the mother for her share of the costs. If the alleged father is determined not to be the biological father, then the mother would reimburse his share of the costs.

Get Expert Legal Assistance with Your Paternity Case in Tampa

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