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Legal Rights For Florida Parents Who Never Married


While there is a set way for divorcing parents to establish custody terms and parenting time, legal rights for Florida parents who never married can be complex and confusing. While it is true that the state recognizes the importance of children having a relationship with both of their parents, the legal framework when parents never married can be difficult to navigate without professional assistance.

If you are seeking information on how to protect your legal rights and ensure the best possible outcome for yourself and your children, talk to a Tampa family lawyer. Unmarried parents often benefit from working with a lawyer when it comes to child custody, visitation, estate planning, guardianship, and other family issues.

Establishing Paternity Could Be Part of the Process

One of the most important ways for parents who never married to establish legal rights is through paternity recognition. In Florida, when a child is born to parents who are not married, the father has no legal rights to the child until paternity is established. Because of this, the father cannot make decisions about the child’s welfare or be guaranteed rights. If there is a custody dispute, access to the child may be denied.

When you work with a Tampa family lawyer, a path to establishing paternity can be explored, either through DNA testing or other means. Once paternity is set, next steps can be taken to ensure that the father’s legal rights are protected and that he can take an active role in his child’s life.

Assuming paternity has been established, either through both parents filing the necessary paperwork or through DNA testing, requests for child custody and visitation can move forward. In Florida, custody is determined based on what is in the interests of the child. This is done through assessing an array of factors, including each parent’s relationship with the child, their ability to provide for the child’s needs, and any history of abuse or unhealthy behaviors.

Child Support Could Be In Reach

It is also essential to recognize that once paternity is established, child support requests can follow. In the state of Florida, both parents have a legal obligation to support their child financially, regardless of if they are married, divorced, or were never wed. A Tampa family lawyer can assist parents in establishing a child support order, one that reflects the needs of the child and the financial resources of both parents.

Courts tend to support both parents being involved in the upbringing of children, whether the parents were married or not. To learn more about developing a parenting plan and establishing child support payments, connect with an attorney.

Are you seeking visitation time with your kid after having a child out of wedlock? Or, are you looking to secure child support payments but were never married? There are ways to establish your rights as a Florida parent. Share your objectives with the legal team at Blair H. Chan, III so a path forward can be strategized. To discuss next steps and schedule a consultation, call 813-202-7831.

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