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Unwed Parents: Who Gets Custody in Florida?

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Understanding Florida Custody Laws

Under Florida Laws, a mother has sole, legal, and physical custody of a child born to unmarried parents. Even though the father may be listed as a parent on the birth certificate, it still does not grant any paternal legal rights to custody or time-sharing. However, establishing paternity can be a way for fathers to gain paternal rights. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Establish Paternity in Florida

In Florida, establishing paternity legally gives a child a father. There are two ways that this can be done:

Sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity”

When parents agree that a man is the father of a child, by signing a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form, the father will be known as the legal father after 60 days. After 60 days, neither parent can dispute the acknowledgment or undo the paternity establishment.

DNA Testing

If a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” is not an option, DNA testing can be an alternative to establishing paternity. Establishing paternity through DNA testing requires the initiation of court proceedings.

The Rights and Benefits of Establishing Paternity for a Child

Establishing paternity not only gives rights to the father, but paternity also gives rights and benefits to a child such as:

  • Health or life insurance for the child (if available)
  • Financial support
  • Social security benefits
  • Veteran’s benefits (if applicable)
  • Military allowances (if applicable)
  • Inheritances

Need Assistance With Establishing Paternity? We Are Here For You.

When it comes to an unwed father’s rights under Florida laws, it can be confusing, frustrating, and emotionally draining all at the same time. If you are looking to establish paternity, our experienced family law attorneys are here to guide you through the process and support you every step of the way. When it comes to protecting your rights, we are here to help.

Contact Owenby Law, P.A. today at (904) 770-3141 to schedule a free initial consultation with our team.