Importance of Establishing Paternity
Immediately following a separation or divorce, custody and visitation often become a point of contention. Former spouses who are able to agree to financial matters and property divisions may find themselves unable to agree on issues concerning minor children. When custody has become, or will become, an issue, the importance of establishing paternity cannot be stressed enough. Having paternity legally established can help avoid some of the problems that couples involved in custody and support disagreements experience.
Secures the Father’s Rights
The most immediate benefit of a father establishing paternity is that is secures the rights of the father. Florida is a state that works to help fathers maintain an active role in the lives of their children. Sharing parenting time and custody is one of the best ways for a father to build a healthy relationship with his children following a divorce or separation. Once a paternity test has confirmed who the child’s biological father is, a man represented by an experienced attorney has a strong chance of securing the right to equal custody of their children.
Helps Expedite Support Claims
In some cases a father may decide that he does not want to share parenting time or receive more than limited visitation rights. When this happens the father still may have a financial responsibility towards the children of the relationship. Paternity suits filed by a mother or the state are often one of the first steps taken in child support cases. Verifying that the non-custodial parent is the father of the child in question further establishes the right of the custodial parent to receive child support or other forms of financial assistance.
Assists with Inheritance Issues
Florida has very clear requirements when it comes to establishing a valid legal will. Unfortunately, there are times when a will that initially seemed correct is found invalid. When this occurs the court is ultimately responsible for deciding how to dispose of the recently deceased’s property and financial assets. Children whose paternity was previously established have an easier time presenting themselves as potential legal heirs when the inheritance of an estate is questionable.
When to Seek Help
Establishing the paternity of a child is often a stressful and time consuming experience. Adults who are already coping with the stress of a divorce have a difficult time determining the best way to initiate a paternity suit. If you or someone you love is interested in establishing the paternity of a child, Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. can provide you with the assistance you need. She has helped fathers secure their rights through equitable custody arrangements, and she has helped mothers who were having child support issues. Contact her Fort Lauderdale office today at 954-945-7591 to schedule a free consultation so that you can receive the help you need.