Tampa, Florida


Paternity Attorney in Tampa

Do you need an experience Tampa paternity lawyer?

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, a child born to a mother and father who are not married is not automatically presumed to be the unmarried father's child, and all parental rights and obligations, including the right to custody or visitation and the obligation to support the child, do not automatically belong to the unmarried father.

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.

There are several different ways to establish whether a man is the natural and legal father of the 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.

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.

Contact a Tampa paternity lawyer at Givens Givens Sparks today.

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At Givens Givens Sparks, your family is our family. As such, we promise to fight for each client and voraciously protect their best interests. Facing a family law issue? Get in touch with us to learn how we can help!

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