In most cases, Florida law allows a parent of either gender to spend time with his or her child. However, custody and visitation rights are generally only available to a child’s biological mother or father. The law provides several different tactics that you can use to make yourself a part of a young person’s life.
Establish paternity by submitting the proper paperwork
You may acknowledge that you are the father of a child by filling out a paternity form at the hospital where the child is born. This form may also be filled out at a later date if you aren’t able to be present when your son or daughter comes into the world.
Establish paternity through the use of a DNA test
If the child’s mother doesn’t believe that you are his or her other biological parent, it may be possible to dispel that noting with a DNA test. These types of tests can be up to 99.9% accurate, which means that they are difficult to dispute in court. In the event that it reveals a genetic link between yourself and the minor in question, you will likely receive custody or visitation rights to your child.
What if you get married before the child is born?
The mother’s husband is assumed to be a child’s legal father. Therefore, if you plan to be a part of your child’s life, getting married may be an effective way of accomplishing that goal. A family law attorney may be able to provide more information as to how your marital status may impact your rights as a parent.
An attorney may assist in the process of obtaining visitation, custody or other rights to your child. This may be done by submitting the results of a DNA test, witness statements or other evidence during a hearing. Your attorney may also help you receive greater parental rights by outlining steps that you have taken to overcome anger, substance abuse or other personal problems.