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Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions About Paternity Proceedings In Fort Lauderdale


The need for paternity testing in Fort Lauderdale can arise in various situations. The most common involves single parents. Establishing paternity can help ensure your child gets important benefits and the amount of child support they are owed. Our Fort Lauderdale paternity lawyer explains more about the process, and answers frequently asked questions we often hear from our clients.

Proving Paternity In Fort Lauderdale

Establishing paternity ensures your child has a legal father. The Florida Department of Revenue advises that there are three ways this can be accomplished:

  • At birth: If the parents are married, paternity is presumed. If unmarried, the father’s name can be included on the birth certificate, provided both parties are willing.
  • By acknowledgment: The father can willingly acknowledge paternity at any time from the child’s birth to the age of 18.
  • By court order: If the father refuses to acknowledge paternity, you can file a petition requesting genetic testing.

In terms of the last option, it is natural for a single mother to hesitate in taking the father to court. However, it is important to keep in mind how determining paternity in Fort Lauderdale can benefit your child.

In addition to helping bolster their sense of self and esteem, it can allow them to be covered by their father’s health care, gain access to benefits from the Veteran’s Administration or Social Security, and legally inherit from the father’s estate. It can also help in ensuring they get the total amount of child support they are owed.

FAQs About Paternity Proceedings 

It is natural to be nervous when filing for paternity in the Broward County Court. Having an experienced Fort Lauderdale paternity lawyer on your side helps. We act as a strong advocate in legal proceedings, making sure the rights of you and your child are protected. The following are frequently asked questions we hear from clients:

How is Paternity Established?

Under the Florida Statutes, parentage is proven via DNA testing. A DNA swab is taken from you, the alleged father, and your child and then compared. The results are over 99 percent accurate.

Do I Have To See The Alleged Father In Court?

Our Fort Lauderdale paternity lawyer can represent you in most hearings, preventing you from having any contact with the father.

Will The Father Automatically Be Entitled To See The Child? 

Parenting arrangements are not addressed when proving paternity in Fort Lauderdale. You or the father would need to bring a separate legal action to determine his rights to spend time with the child.

Will Child Support Automatically Be Addressed?

Parents have a legal duty to provide for their children. Once paternity is established, a child support order may be issued.

Request A Consultation With Our Fort Lauderdale Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity offers numerous benefits to you and your child. Fort Lauderdale paternity lawyer Vanessa L. Prieto provides the trusted legal guidance you need throughout the process. To request a confidential consultation, call or contact our office online today.


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