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Establishing Paternity a Necessary Step Post Split

On December 8, 2020 by

Establishing Paternity has become an afterthought that causes headaches and stress after a relationship has run its course.

In Florida, it has become more common for Millenial and Gen-Z couples to have a child out of wedlock. In fact, many put the baby carriage before the marriage.

As for the reasons? Well there are many, but Millenial and Gen-Z women indicate that marriage has no financial benefit. These women feel they can support themselves and believe they don’t need to get married, even if they get pregnant.  The downside – studies have shown cohabitating couples are more likely to split than married couples. What happens if you aren’t married, you have children, and you break-up? Who pays for childcare, health insurance? Who gets custody? Can your child inherit from you? Who is the legal father?

There are things you probably don’t think about when you’re in the honeymoon stage of a relationship, right? Whether or not you and your now ex get along, there will always be a chance down the road that you disagree on a key child-related decision or a time-sharing schedule.  In an effort to avoid that potential future headache, you should file a Petition to Establish Paternity with the court.

Establishing Paternity Determines:

  1. Baby daddy is actually the biological father of the child and is recognized as such under Florida law
  2. Parental decision-making
  3. A time-sharing schedule
  4. Child support

Regardless, if one parent feels they have the means to support the child or children on their own – child support is a right to that child, it doesn’t mean you get to spend that money on a new, fancy Louis Vuitton purse or TAG Heuer men’s watch, it means the money goes to support the child and their expenses.  

The process of establishing paternity in Florida is either effortless or challenging — depending on the parents. Putting what’s in your child or children’s’ best interest is what is most important. A Florida family court judge is more than likely going to advocate for each parent to nurture and foster a relationship with their child. Unless the child is at risk or in danger, there is a good chance the court will award 50/50 custody. Again, this isn’t every paternity case, but it’s highly suggested to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney to discuss your options and rights.   

If you are a Millenial or Gen-Z (or not) and you have a child out of wedlock and the relationship turns sour, it’s a good idea to have the parental decision-making, time-sharing schedule and child support memorialized by the Court by establishing paternity. In the event either parent does not comply with the agreement and court order, you have a better chance of rectifying the matter

Eric Klein

Eric is the Principal Attorney and President of Klein Law Group. He has spent over 20 years practicing law and guiding clients through some of the most challenging times of their lives.