Establishing Fatherhood

The mother of a child born in Florida to unmarried parents is the “natural guardian” of the child. This means that the birth mother has exclusive custody and control of the child and the father has no right to visit with, or even contact, the child beyond what the mother chooses to allow. This remains the case even if the Florida Department of Revenue gets involved to establish paternity and child support. In that common circumstance, mom retains exclusive custody while dad has only the financial responsibilities and, none of the rights, of parenthood. However, a father who takes the initiative to establish his parental rights and responsibilities through the courts must be afforded all of the respect due to a mother and is entitled to equal consideration with respect to custody and visitation.
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Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Call 850.864.1951

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