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Today, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to have children outside of marriage which raises questions about parental rights, particularly the legal status of the father. In fact, when the parents are not married, only the mother is presumed to be the natural guardian and the only legally recognized parent of the child. A father of a child born outside of marriage does not have parental recognition, legal rights or responsibilities to the child until his paternity is established by the court.
Blair H. Chan, III, PLLC works with mothers and fathers to establish parental rights and responsibilities to their children throughout the greater Tampa area.
Generally, in the Family law Courts of the state of Florida parents of a child born outside of marriage often must file a pleading to establish parental responsibility, timesharing, create a parenting plan, as well as establish child support.
A paternity action may be necessary if the parents do not agree about the biological identity of the father, if they don’t agree on timesharing, or there is disagreement as to payment of child support. Such a lawsuit can be brought by the mother, the father, or even the state of Florida on behalf of the child. The Florida Department of Revenue can bring a lawsuit to assist a parent who is seeking child support or state aid for the child.
Another option exists for establishment of paternity, parental responsibility, timesharing and child support for children in the Tampa Bay area. Many family law attorneys have started offering interdisciplinary collaborative paternity services. Like collaborative divorce, a collaborative paternity matter is a team based approach that seeks to minimize litigation in resolving paternity issues and focuses on creating a team of experts to help parents resolve their parenting disputes outside of court and the traditional litigation process. The parents and their attorneys work closely with mental health and parenting experts to create agreements and a parenting plan in the best interest of their children without costly and acrimonious litigation. Collaborative paternity empowers parents to create their own agreements, maintain control over decisions affecting their children and teaches parents to resolve issues on their own without involvement of the courts.
Our firm is experienced and effective at handling a wide range of issues facing parents, both mothers and fathers, dealing with issues involving establishment of paternity and parenting children born outside of marriage. Over our many years of practice we have helped mothers obtain child support to provide for their children. We have also assisted fathers with establishing their parental rights and responsibilities. At Blair Chan, III, PLLC we recognize that issues surrounding paternity are sensitive and we work closely with clients to protect their rights and preserve the well being of the children. Call our office today for a free consultation. We happily serve clients all throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including the towns of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Plant City. We also help residents of Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough County.