Paternity in Miami: Legally Establishing Rights to Children in Florida
Paternity cases are those cases that involve a couple who is not married but have one or more children from that relationship. A paternity action is filed when a person wants to legally establish the paternity of a child and set the legal obligations of the father.
The Florida Statute that codifies or deals with paternity is Chapter 742.
A paternity case or action can be filed by a mother OR a father.
Regardless of whether it is the mother or the father who files the paternity case, the following questions will be determined by the Court:
- The paternity of the child, meaning whether the father in the case is actually the father via DNA testing, if the paternity hasn’t been otherwise established;
- Parental responsibility of the child;
- Child support amount to be paid; and
- Time sharing with the child for the parent with whom the child is not currently living.
Paternity cases share some of the processes and procedures with divorces such as:
- The need to formally open a paternity case in family court by filing a petition.
- Service of process on the other party, whether the mother or the father, if necessary; or publication if the whereabouts of the father is not known.
- If the paternity petition is served, the party has 20 days to file an answer and a counter-petition.
- The establishment of a parenting plan for time-sharing with the child.
- The calculation of child support to be paid pursuant to the Florida child support guidelines.
- A trial if the case is contested.
Similarly, as in a divorce, paternity cases can be settled by agreement of the parties or by a paternity trial. If the parents agree then the case can be done in an uncontested manner, meaning there is really no litigation. If, for some reason, the parents do not agree, then a final hearing will have to be scheduled, just like in a contested divorce case.
In a Miami paternity case, parents will have to take a parenting class. This usually can be done online. (This may be different in other Florida counties).
Court Fees in a Paternity Case:
The fee to open or file a paternity case in Miami’s Family Court is $301.00, payable directly to the Clerk of Courts.
For services in a paternity case, I offer two options. The first is the traditional hourly billing; the other is a flat fee for the entire case.
If you like to find out more, please call us at 786-477-6017
(Hours by Appointment Only)
Vivian C. Rodriquez, Esq.
2332 Galiano Street
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Tel: (786) 477-6017
(For Legal and Other Correspondence)
Vivian C. Rodriguez, Esq.
2520 SW 22 St, #2-041
Miami, FL 33145
For E-Service: eservice(at)viviancrodriguez.com