There was a time, not too long ago, when determining paternity cost thousands of dollars. Now for less than $100 families all over the world are discovering hidden truths. Sometimes new connections bring joy, other times, broken hearts. When you discover that you are not the biological father of a child you love and are raising, you may have many reactions, emotions, and, most of all, questions. Some that we have answered as a Largo paternity lawyer are below. But, because every situation is different, you may want to contact us or a local lawyer familiar with paternity laws in your state.
We Are Divorced, Do I Have to Continue Child Support?
This is the most frequently asked question and one without a clear answer. Assuming you wish to continue to act as the father with custody and parental input and remain part of the child’s life, yes, you will want to continue paying child support. However, once the fact that you are not the biological parent comes to light, if you are not named on the birth certificate, you should speak with a family law attorney. If you have no relationship with the child or its mother and are named on the birth certificate and wish to be removed, a paternity lawyer can help with that which may alter or end your child support obligation.
Do I Have to Adopt the Child to Continue as the Parent?
There are times when a happily married husband learns he is not the father. Assuming you are named on the birth certificate, you are still the presumed father and have legal rights. If the biological father can be found and wants to be named as the legal father, that is where a Largo paternity lawyer will need to be involved on both sides. The State of Florida works to protect the parent/child relationship. You likely will not sever the relationship between the presumed father and child.
My Child Discovered This Information as an Adult, Can I Legally Adopt Him?
If your name is on the birth certificate, you are the legal father. There is no need to adopt the child no matter who is the true biological father. If you are not on the birth certificate, but have acted under the assumption that you are the father and raised the child, you can legally adopt him at any age as long as it is something you both want. In fact, this can be completed with or without any biological ties. You do not need a paternity lawyer, but you should call an adoption attorney to help with the process.
Need a Largo Paternity Lawyer or Adoption Attorney? Call Us.
Wagstaff & Pitelis helps with all aspects of family law. We can help with establishing or disestablishing paternity, adoption, divorce, child custody and support as well as estate planning. Call us today to schedule your consultation at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form.