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Establishment of Paternity


In Florida, the establishment of paternity refers to the legal process of determining and legally recognizing the biological father’s rights of a child who was born to unmarried parents. Genetic testing is available but depending on the circumstances, not always necessary. Either parent can seek to establish paternity in family court. Establishing paternity is important for several reasons, including determining parental rights and responsibilities, establishing child support obligations, and timesharing with both parents.

It’s worth noting that once paternity is established, it carries various legal implications, including:

The legal father gains rights and responsibilities such as custody, visitation, and the ability to participate in decision-making regarding the child’s welfare.

Calculation of Child Support: Child support in Florida is calculated based on the state’s child support guidelines. The guidelines take into account various factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children, the amount of overnights the child spends with each parent, health insurance costs, and childcare expenses. Once this information is gathered, it can be determined which parent has a monthly child support obligation that must be paid to the other parent.

In Florida, child support generally continues until the child reaches the age of 18. However, if the child is still attending high school on their 18th birthday, support may continue until the child graduates or turns 19, whichever comes first. In certain circumstances, such as when a child has a disability, child support may continue beyond the age of 18.

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