Because of the biology of conception and birth, women who birth children are easily recognized as the parent of a child born to them. As a consequence, women obtain legal rights to parent their children immediately upon birth. Fathers do not necessarily enjoy that same luxury; rather, unless the child was born during the Father's marriage to the mother, the Father has no rights at all. As shocking as it may be, until the Father's paternity of the child is "established" the Father has no legal right to parent the child and no legal obligation to support the child.
What Are Paternal Rights?
Paternal rights refer to the Father's right to see the child, care for the child, make decisions about what happens to and for the child, pay for the child's needs, and be involved in the child's life. If a child is born during the marriage of the father and mother, it is presumed the husband is the father of the child born to the wife. If another person is, in fact, the biological father, that person has no parental rights to the child. If the father and mother are unmarried when the child is born, the father has no parental rights to the child. In order for a father to acquire the right to parent, he must take action to have his paternity established. If a husband is the legal father of a child he loves and wants to parent but a biological father steps in and wants to establish his right to the child, the waters can get very muddy and emotionally charged.
Our role as your attorney is to make sure that your rights are established and protected under Florida law.