Offering Paternity Legal Representation in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice
Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, Florida paternity attorney Matthew Z. Martell can help you to obtain a successful outcome to your contested paternity issues. The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. represent clients in efforts to establish paternity. We also represent clients occasionally in efforts to challenge and disestablish paternity when this issue arises.
Paternity lawsuits involved establishing the identity of the biological father of a child in situations where the Mother and the Father and not married. In such cases, certain aspects of the parental relationship are legally determined such as paternity and child support. Frequently the paternity case is expanded so that other issues like parental responsibility (child custody), timesharing (child visitation), and the Parenting Plan are determined as well. However, the Florida Department of Revenue- Office of Child Support Enforcement is legally prohibited from representing a Mother regarding any parental responsibility and time-sharing matters in paternity cases. Oftentimes, if a Mother needs child support, then the Florida Department of Revenue- Office of Child Support Enforcement will initiate both a paternity and child support action on behalf of your child within the same lawsuit. The Florida Attorney General’s Office represents the Florida Department of Revenue in such cases in Sarasota County. The Manatee County Clerk of Courts is the attorney in such lawsuit in Manatee County. Therefore, if the Florida Department of Revenue or Manatee County Clerk of Courts has started a paternity case to collect child support, it will be up to you to request entry of a Parenting Plan during that lawsuit.
On the other hand, if the Department of Revenue or Manatee County Clerk of Courts is demanding that the Father pay child support, it may seem like the State is representing the Mother. In theory, the State is representing the legal interest of your minor child. But it may not seem that way to the Father at the time this is occurring. To ensure that your voice is heard, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, Florida paternity lawyer. The Court can order payment of retroactive child support (commonly known as “back child support”) in your paternity case. The Court can also order a Father to reimburse the Mother for her childbirth costs, genetic DNA testing, attorney’s fees and costs, and expert witness fees. If you are not living with your child but are providing him/her with some financial support, then it is probably to your benefit to judicially establish paternity, child support, parental responsibility, timesharing, and a Parenting Plan sooner rather than later. The main two reasons why are to limit your future exposure for back child support and also to ensure that you have access to visitation with you child if your relationship with the Mother deteriorates in the future.
A man who is living with a woman at the time her baby is born is presumed to be that child’s biological Father. The Father who is listed on a baby’s birth certificate is legally presumed to be responsible for that child’s financial support. Also, in some situations where a women is cohabitating with an unmarried male partner while still married to another man, if a baby is born while the marriage still exists, then the Husband is presumed to be that child’s Father under Florida law. But if the unmarried male partner signs the birth certificate and/or an acknowledgement of paternity and also holds that child out as his own, then he will generally also be presumed to be the child’s Father. Alternatively, if the Father on the child’s birth certificate is not the child’s biological parent, then the biological Father can file a lawsuit to establish paternity, parental responsibility, and timesharing. Inexpensive DNA tests determine a child’s biological parents with basically 100% accuracy. The biological Father is then expected to support that child financially, In summary, when there are competing presumptions, it becomes difficult to avoid a paternity lawsuit to determine legally who is the child’s Father, payment of child support, parental responsibility, and timesharing.
Don’t wait until there is a huge fight with the other parent over your child to address these important issues. You owe it to your child to have paternity, parental responsibility (child custody), timesharing (child visitation), and child support established by a court of law as soon as possible after your baby is born.
WE CAN HELP YOU RESOLVE YOUR PATERNITY CASE
Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, Florida paternity attorney Matthew Z. Martell is committed to helping his family law clients. The Law Offices of Matthew Z Martell, P.A. keeps our caseload small to ensure that you get our full attention, receive professional and courteous legal services, and are given trustworthy and competent legal representation at fair and reasonable hourly rates. Contact us today to schedule a free 30 minutes initial phone consultation to discuss a successful resolution to your paternity legal problem.