Establishing Paternity in Tampa Bay & Why it Matters

Many unwed parents in Tampa Bay wonder why establishing legal paternity is necessary, especially if they are co-parenting successfully without court intervention. The recent pandemic has brought to light the importance of establishing legal paternity and why it is in the best interest of the children.

Whether a parent falls ill from COVID or if they suffer another catastrophic event, if legal paternity has not been established, the biological father has no rights to his minor child by default. Should mom become incapacitated or if she passes away, a father who has not been established as the biological father by a Judge, can run into problems. Alternatively, if something catastrophic occurs with the father, the child will not automatically be entitled to insurance, social security or other benefits such as having access to the father’s medical history if needed.

Read: Legal Paternity in Florida in the Time of COVID19


Unmarried Parents & Custody in Florida

It is important for unmarried parents to understand their custody rights in Florida. Simply put, in Florida an unmarried father has no legal rights to custody or timesharing until paternity is established. Until paternity is legally established with the courts, the mother has sole, legal and physical custody of the child or children. Read: Florida Child Custody Rights of Unmarried Parents

The bottom line is, whether it’s COVID or a car accident, unmarried parents should consider unforeseen catastrophic events and look to their child’s best interests. Situations and attitudes of parents can also change with time and a court order that establishes paternity now, can better ensure a secure future for everyone.

Schedule a Family Law Consultation or Message Us Below

If you are uncertain about your situation or if you have other questions about paternity or child custody, please contact our office. We believe that “Nothing is More Important than Your Family” For over 25 years, we have represented parents and provided sound legal counsel with regards to their parental rights and responsibilities under Florida Law.

Call 813-879-4600 or leave us a secure message below.