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Fathers’ Rights In Florida


Being a father is one of the biggest joys and biggest responsibilities of a person’s life. Having a father in a child’s life is beneficial to everyone in the family, but a father’s rights are not always guaranteed, especially if the parents are not married when the child is born. If you wish to establish your rights as a father in the Tampa Bay area, the experienced family law attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.

Establishing Fathers’ Rights 

If parents are not married when a child is born, the biological father first needs to establish their rights with the child. This can be done in one of two ways: first, by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity with the consent of the mother. This can be done at the hospital when the child is born or later and sent to the proper agencies. If the mother does not agree to a voluntary acknowledgement, the second option to establish a father’s rights is through court ordered genetic testing. A judge can issue an order for the genetic testing of the father and child to probe a biological connection. Once biological paternity is confirmed, the father has his rights legally established through the court. 

Enforcing Fathers’ Rights 

Once a father has established rights with the child, the next step is defining and enforcing those rights. One of the most basic rights is child custody and visitation. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this could mean sharing joint physical and legal custody of the child, which allows the child to live with the father as well as gives the father decision-making authority over the upbringing of his child. The court may instead grant visitation rights, which could include supervised or non-supervised visitation, which is determined by a number of factors in every case.

It is critical that a father secure the services of an experienced family law attorney when asserting their rights to their child. An attorney can help in all areas of negotiating and drafting a parenting plan with the mother that is in the best interests of the child. If necessary, an attorney can go to the court to ensure that a father’s rights are enforced if the mother is unwilling to cooperate or abide by an established parenting plan. To learn more about all the ways that a lawyer can help with establishing or enforcing a father’s rights, talk to our office today. 

Call or Contact Our Office Now 

Being present in a child’s life benefits the father, mother, and child in the family, and if you wish to establish or assert your rights as a father, the knowledgeable and experienced Tampa paternity attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.



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