Paternity and Child Custody Lawyer in Immokalee Florida

In law, the term used to prove fatherhood is known as paternity, which is settled in family court. Each state approaches paternity differently. In some states, paternity is commonly proven with a paternity test while others prefer paternity be established before court proceedings.

How is paternity established? 
When the child is born and the parents are not married, then there will be no legal father until paternity is established. There are two main ways in which paternity can be established.
 1. Recognition of Parentage (ROP) 

Both father and mother sign a form that indicates that the man is the child’s father. You can get the form from your county’s child support office or from the hospital where the child is born. The ROP is only acceptable when it is filled with the Department of Health. The statement of paternity is final if the parents are at least 18 years old and if the mother is not married to someone else. The ROP does not give the father any right to parenting time(visitation) or to custody. But it can be used by the court to set child support. The man or the mother who signed the ROP can cancel (revoke) it within the time period of 60 days. After the time period of 60 days, you can only cancel the Recognition of Parentage (ROP) by going to court. But for this, you need evidence that the man is not the father. 
2. Paternity Order From Court 

Sometimes more than one man may claim to be the father, the mother may have been married to someone else when the child was born, or sometimes one parent may not want to sign the ROP. Then in these cases court will look at the evidence, including the past relationship between the mother and the possible father or genetic tests, and decide paternity. If the parents are married, then the husband is considered to be the child’s father. To deny paternity If the wife or husband wants to start a court case then, in some cases, they can start it before the child is 3 years old. 

Why is it important to establish paternity? 

Paternity is established by the court to recognize certain rights of children and fathers. 
-Until paternity is established a father does not have any right to parenting time or custody.
-Getting child support is the right of every child since child support can’t be ordered if paternity is not established. 
-Child Custody in Immokalee Florida

What types of custody are there? 

-Joint legal custody means that for making these major decisions both parents have equal duties and rights. 

-Joint physical custody means that the child will live about half the time with the mother and half with the father. 

-Legal custody means that the right to make major decisions for the child, like religion, health care, and schools.

-Physical custody and residence means having the daily care, control of the child, and living with the child. If the parents have joint legal custody then one parent can have sole physical custody too.

How is custody decided? 

If both father and mother want custody of the child, then in such situations the court looks at all important facts such as:

-A child’s spiritual, physical, cultural, emotional, and other needs. 
-The preferences of the child and where they want to live.
-How has each parent has taken took care of the child in the past?
-The financial and stability factors that each parent has.

Can custody be changed? 

Yes. If the situation of the parents and child changes then the court can change custody, and for the best interests of the child a new order is needed from the court.

Contact the Experts

Abogado Guerrero has dealt with a lot of cases dealing with child custody and paternity. Our clients trust us with their family-related cases because they know we look out for them. If you are dealing with family law cases call us today in Immokalee Florida at 239-682-8055.

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