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Paternity

Every child has a father, but not every child has a legal father. According to paternity law in Florida, paternity can be established in one of five ways. If the mother is married when her baby is born, the legal father of the child is her husband. If the mother is not married, paternity must be established in order to be legal.

The four additional methods for establishing paternity in Florida are:

Administrative order- If a genetic paternity test proves the paternity of a child, paternity is legally ordered.

Court order- A judge can order a couple to test paternity in order to legally prove paternity.

Legitimization- If a couple gets married after their child is born, they can have the child’s birth record updated to include
the paternity.

Why is Paternity so Important?

Paternity is important for a number of reasons. It benefits not only the child, but also the parent, as it gives them parental rights only offered to legal parents and guardians. For example, paternity gives both parents the right to seek a child support order, to obtain an order for visitation or custody, and to have a say in legal decisions regarding the child. There are also significant benefits for the child, including:

Information regarding his or her family medical history.
Health or life insurance, when available, from either parent.
Financial support from either parent such as child support or
medical support.
Financial benefits such as Social Security, veteran’s benefits,
inheritance, or military allowances.

Testing Paternity

When necessary, testing paternity can be accomplished through genetic tests. For the test to be legal, the mother, child, and believed father must all have their DNA tested at an approved laboratory. Paternity tests are conducted by lab workers who first carefully check the IDs of all three people, then take swabs of cells from the inside of each person’s cheek using a device similar to a large q-tip. The samples are then put into containers and sent to a genetic testing laboratory. The results of genetic testing are extremely reliable and can be used as evidence of paternity in court.

Our Locations

Orlando

150 North Orange Avenue

Suite 303B

Orlando, Florida 32801

(407) 455-7359

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Tampa

100 South Ashley Street,

Suite 600

Tampa, Florida 33602

(813) 496-7375

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Fort Lauderdale

888 South Andrews Avenue

Suite 302

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316

(954) 334-7776

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Fort Myers

5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd

Suite 305

Fort Myers, Florida 33907

(239) 275-2279

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West Palm Beach

324 Datura Street

Suite 150

West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

(561) 847-7721

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St. Petersburg

970 Lake Carillon

Suite 356

St. Petersburg, Florida 33716

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(727) 497-6076

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Lakeland

Lakeland 1102 S. Florida Ave

Suite 121

Lakeland, Florida 33803

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(863) 327-1724

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Melbourne

6767 North Wickham Road

Suite 400

Melbourne, Florida 32940

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(321) 460-1646

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DeLand

120 South Woodland Boulevard

Suite 203

DeLand, Florida 32720

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(386) 626-0011

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Naples

1415 Panther Lane

Suite 374

Naples, Florida 34109

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(239) 201-2527

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Miami

3350 SW 148th Ave.

Suite 110

Miramar, Florida 33027

(305) 967-6361

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Jacksonville

50 North Laura St

Suite 2566

Jacksonville, Florida 32202

(904) 224-1522

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