Tampa Paternity & Child Custody Lawyers
Paternity Actions Brought by Mother’s and Father’s
The Tampa paternity attorneys at the family law firm of All Family Law Group handle paternity suits initiated by both mothers and fathers who have had a child and are not married. We have handled thousands of family cases since 1997, including numerous cases involving paternity-related disputes.
Paternity suits filed by mothers most often seek child support payments from the child’s father. Paternity suits filed by fathers most often seek to establish time sharing/visitation rights link to child custody and also to have the father legally named as the child’s father. Even if the father is on the child’s birth certificate, legally he is not the father until a Final Judgment of Paternity has been entered and before then he has no legal rights to the child.
The Tampa paternity attorneys at All Family Law Group are experienced in preparing paternity settlement agreements and parenting plans to resolve the child issues involved. Furthermore, if you cannot resolve your issues by agreement, then we will diligently and aggressively pursue your realistic goals before the court. Call 813-672-1900 now or email us to start your free consultation.
The Paternity Action Process
We begin each case by filing a Petition for Paternity with the court. In cases where paternity is disputed, we would then file a motion requesting DNA testing. An order for DNA testing cannot be obtained unless a paternity action is filed, unless both parents agree to it and it does not require an order. If the test establishes the father’s paternity, the parties can proceed to resolve child custody, visitation and child support issues. The procedure in a paternity action is similar to the procedure in a divorce action, except that there are no assets and liabilities to divide. If the parties can agree, a paternity settlement agreement and/or a parenting plan will be drafted either at mediation or between the parties and their attorneys. Otherwise, the Court will decide the outcome at a final hearing.