Paternity Law & Fathers' Rights

Brandon FL DNA Testing Lawyer

Sometimes you want to be certain that you are the father before you pay child support. Other times you know you are the father and want to establish a custody/parenting plan with your child's mother.

Contact a Tampa paternity attorney today to discuss establishment or de-establishment of paternity or negotiation of a parenting plan.

Family law attorney, Mary L. Greenwood has represented men seeking to:

  • Establish paternity so they can claim their parental rights as the father
  • Disclaim their paternity rights so that another person may adopt the child
  • Modify an order for child support
  • Negotiate a custody/parenting plan

Establishment and De-establishment of Paternity

Paternity is typically established when the mother of a child seeks state assistance for her child and must name the father; or directly through Florida's paternity statute by the mother or the father. Both options typically use DNA testing.

In some circumstances, you may have ignored a court summons claiming that you were the father. If that is the case, you would have been named the father of a child by default and you need to be de-established as the father. Florida's paternity statute provides for this situation either by rescission of your signature on the birth certificate (within 60 days of birth), or by establishing by DNA results that you are not the child's father.

Negotiating a Parenting Plan

Ms. Greenwood can help you develop a parenting plan that incorporates as much overnight parenting time as possible. Throughout her career, she has encouraged 50/50 parenting, because she believes children need both of their parents.

Moreover, recently passed changes to Florida law have radically altered the criteria for what is known as "substantial parenting." Substantial parenting means that the child is with a parent enough of the time that child support payments may be decreased. The current standard is 40 percent of overnights spent with the children. As of January 2011, the law will recognize 20 percent of overnights spent with the children as substantial parenting.

Ms. Greenwood has successfully represented fathers in custody cases for many years. Contact our Brandon, Florida, DNA testing lawyer today.