Panella Law Firm Accepts Cases Throughout Florida
When a child is born during a marriage, it is assumed under the law that both the man and woman are the child’s parents. But when individuals with a child are not married, paternity must be established for the father to have legal rights to the child. Without it, you will not have a leg to stand on if you want to see your child and the mother denies you access or if you are seeking child custody.
Establishing paternity can be done voluntarily if the mother agrees that you are indeed the father or by court order if necessary. Likewise, the child’s unmarried mother can bring an action to have paternity established for child support if a man denies he is the father.
No matter what side of the issue you are on, whether you seek to establish paternity or are disputing it, an experienced Florida paternity lawyer from Panella Law Firm can stand up for your interests throughout the legal process.
To speak with us, call us today at 407-233-1822. We are diligent and compassionate advocates when you are facing a complex and sensitive family law problem.
When you are involved in a paternity dispute in Florida, you need knowledgeable guidance from attorneys who truly understand what is at stake for both you and your child. Our paternity lawyers at Panella Law Firm are passionate legal advocates for parents. We will help you determine the truth, whether you are seeking to establish that you are the child’s biological father or you are a mother trying to get financial help caring for your child.
Attorney Michael Panella is the recipient of numerous legal honors for his skill, professionalism, and commitment to getting positive outcomes for clients. He has been named to Super Lawyers several times and received numerous Client’s Choice awards from AVVO, an attorney rating organization. He was inspired to enter the practice of law after a family member received an unjust resolution to their legal issue.
Attorney Huda Saleh is a dedicated and compassionate attorney who handles cases involving paternity, child custody, and other family law matters. Empathetic and relatable, she prides herself on being able to successfully navigate tense legal situations. She works tirelessly to safeguard her client’s rights and interests in emotionally charged and high-conflict cases.
We believe that choosing the right attorney for your paternity issue is not something that should be done casually. You want to work with a firm that has the motivation and experience to get you an outcome that is in line with your goals. For that reason, you should read what past clients have to say about our legal services, which could help inform your choice. To learn more about us and how we can help you, call 407-233-1822.
Legal issues involving children and personal relationships are some of the most difficult and confusing to navigate. Our paternity lawyer will help you throughout the process of establishing paternity by:
We can help you no matter what your situation. Call us today to arrange a consultation by dialing 407-233-1822. We will seek the best possible outcome for you while keeping the best interests of the child in mind.
There are two primary ways that paternity is established in Florida. It can be established voluntarily through an agreement between the parents or by petitioning the court.
Paternity can be established when parents are unmarried if both sign the state’s Acknowledgement of Paternity form. The form must be signed in front of a notary public or two witnesses. Paternity can be established in this way anytime before the child turns 18 years old.
When there is disagreement over paternity, the father or birth-mother seeking to establish paternity will have to file Florida Form 12.983(a), Petition To Determine Paternity And For Related Relief, with the court to have paternity established. If the other party contests the petition, then genetic testing may be ordered for all parties, including the child, and the case may have to go to trial for resolution if it cannot be resolved through mediation.
If your petition is contested, a Florida paternity attorney from our firm can represent you throughout the legal steps leading up to and including trial. Even if you expect that the petition will be uncontested by the child’s other parent, we can counsel you and help you fill out the required paperwork to help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
It is tough to be an unmarried dad who is denied access to their child by the mother. It is also hard to be a mother who needs financial help to care for a child when the father denies they are responsible. In either situation, we can help with establishing paternity so that you can be in your child’s life or so you can get the monetary support you need to adequately care for your child. We have successfully helped many fathers and mothers who are in these difficult situations. We want to help you, too.
Here are questions our law firm frequently receives about establishing paternity. To get answers for your unique situation, speak with a paternity lawyer from Panella Law Firm.
If I establish that I am the father, can I get custody?
Florida uses the term “time-sharing,” rather than “custody” and “visitation,” in describing how much time the child will spend with each parent. If you establish that you are the father, your rights will be considered in a time-sharing arrangement. Judges review various factors to determine arrangements that are in children’s best interests. For example, parents could share equal time—which may not always be logistically possible—or one parent may have majority time-sharing.
Will I have to pay child support if I establish paternity?
That depends on several factors considered in Florida’s child support guidelines. The guidelines will consider how much time each of you spends with the child as part of your time-sharing arrangement, both parent’s incomes, the child’s needs, and the child’s health care and child care expenses. Once we understand your situation, we can provide more clarity as to whether you may or may not have to pay child support.
What if the mother of my child was married to another man at the time our child was born?
The law would presume that the other man is the child’s legal father. Unless everyone agrees that you are the biological father, you would need to bring a paternity action, and all the parties would be involved in this process. A DNA test may be performed on all parties. As you can imagine, this type of situation is very complicated and requires the careful guidance of an attorney with a clear understanding of paternity law.
Can I disestablish paternity and stop paying child support?
If you have reason to believe that you are not the biological father of a child, you can bring an action to disestablish paternity in the court where the child support was ordered. You will need to provide information that shows that you are not the biological father of the child, including the results of DNA testing. We can advise you about the process for disestablishing paternity.
Can I secretly submit DNA from the child’s father to establish paternity?
No— it is a felony crime in Florida to collect or submit another person’s DNA sample for analysis without their consent. If you wish to establish paternity and the father is not cooperative, you will need to file a petition with the court to establish paternity. Our paternity lawyer can assist you with the petitioning process.
Panella Law Firm can answer all of your questions about establishing paternity and related family law issues. Do not wait to reach out to our law firm when you need help. We will guide you from start to finish in establishing or disestablishing paternity, depending on your needs.
Contact our responsive law firm at 407-233-1822 to arrange a consultation and learn what your rights are.