Gainesville, FL Paternity-Unmarried Child Custody Rights Attorney

Paternity is a term used to describe the legal relationship between a Father and a child.   If you are an unwed mother or father in this situation, it is important that you understand your unmarried child custody rights.

In Florida, a child born to a valid marriage is presumed to be the child of the Husband. However, for children born to unmarried parents, paternity of the child must be established through legal means.  To do this, it is necessary for the putative Father (that is, the person who believes he is the Father) to file an action titled Petition to Establish Paternity.  If the Father wishes to establish child custody or time sharing rights, it will be necessary for the Father to file an appropriate request.  Contact Gainesville, Florida child custody/time sharing attorney Nick Hamm to learn more about unmarried child custody rights and how he can help you.  Below are some anwers to general questions unmarried parents may have regarding their child custody rights.

What child custody rights does an unmarried Father have in Florida?

In general, without a parenting plan or a court order in place, the putative Father does not have ANY child custody or timesharing rights to the his alleged children.  That’s why it is important to move fast and assert your rights to timesharing and child custody through the court system.

What child custody rights does an unmarried Mother have in Florida?

Under Florida law, if an unwed mother has a child, and there is no parenting plan or court order to the contrary, the mother has 100% child custody rights, timesharing, and sole parental responsibility.

How to Establish Child Custody/Timesharing Rights for the Children of Unmarried Parents?

To establish child custody/timesharing rights for children born to unmarried parents, it is necessary to file with the Court a Petition to Establish Paternity.  Some other information below is relevant to help you understand the process.

Do Courts in Florida favor Mothers or Fathers in child custody cases?

In the past, Florida Courts favored the Mother in child custody cases for young children.  However, that law changed.  Now, there is no presumption that the Mother or Father should have more/less custody/ time sharing rights.  Rather, the Courts will follow the enumerated factors.

Will I have to pay child support even though I don’t get to see my child?

Oftentimes, the unwed parents of children do not establish a parenting plan timely. (Read here about how Child Support is Established in Gainesville, Florida) In this instance, it is not uncommon for one parent to be forced to pay child support without a corresponding Order for timesharing/custody or visitation. If you’re interested in obtaining custody rights for your child, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to help you through the process. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone!

If you need help asserting or protecting your child custody/timesharing rights, call Gainesville, Florida family lawyer Nick Hamm at (352)-888-6142 today for your consultation.


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