More dads than ever want to play a meaningful role in the care and upbringing of their children. When married to the mother at the time of birth, dads are presumed to be the father and automatically acquire parental rights.
Unfortunately, establishing and protecting your rights is much harder for unmarried fathers. Unwed dads must prove they fathered the child by establishing their paternity in the eyes of the law. Once accomplished, they gain the parental rights married (and divorced) fathers enjoy.
You get fair parenting time
Assuming that your top goal is spending time with your children, establishing paternity allows you to succeed. Unless there is a risk of extreme harm to the child, all legal fathers have the right to participate in their kids’ lives. Many unwed fathers have even gained full custody once they established their paternity.
You get decision-making rights
After establishing legal paternity, you can have a say in decisions that affect your children. For example, if the mother decides she cannot care for the child and wants to make the child available for adoption, you get to weigh in on that decision. You can even petition for child custody and give your co-parent visiting rights to keep the family connected.
Your child will also benefit
You are not the only one that benefits from establishing your legal paternity. Your children will reap significant rewards for the rest of their lives. They will know who their dad is and have financial and emotional support from two parents instead of just their mother.
We urge you to learn more about establishing legal paternity in Florida to ensure no obstacles arise to block your way.