Articles Posted in Paternity

usher.jpgDrug testing is a common issue in divorce and other legal proceedings involving children. Family Law Judges in Jacksonville have the authority to order a parent who is alleged to be using and or abusing illegal substances to submit to a drug test. This usually occurs upon motion of the other party or parent.

Reportedly, R&B star, Usher, is finding himself in this exact situation. Neontommy.com posted an article, which opens with, “In the heat of a custody battle, Usher’s ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, is practically begging for the judge to have him drug tested. She claims that the R&B superstar “pops pills” and “who knows what else” in front of their two boys.”

If you live in the Jacksonville area and are concerned that your ex-spouse or soon-to-be-ex-spouse is abusing drugs around your children contact a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.

retroactive cs.jpgIt’s not uncommon for parents to decide to part ways and raise their children separately. Some parents are able to work things out without going to court, but oftentimes the court needs to step in and help determine each parent’s rights.

Child support payments are often contested in these situations. Your former spouse may think you owe more than you think you do. If you go to court, you may find the court is on your side. If the court orders child support payments, however, you may find yourself owing more than you originally thought.

In fact, in paternity actions, dissolution of marriages, or petitions for support during marriage, the court has the discretion to award child support retroactive to the date when the parents did not reside together. The court can order payments from up to 24 months in the past.

putative father.jpegThe State of Florida’s legislature, in 2003, created what is called a “Putative Father Registry.” This registry was created so unmarried “putative” fathers could register their intent to exercise parental rights to a child who the they believe may have been born by virtue of a sexual relationship they had with the child’s mother. What exactly does putative father mean? Putative father is a person who is alleged to be the father of a child or the supposed father of a child.

Florida Law states that an unmarried man, by virtue of the fact that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a woman, is deemed to be on notice that a pregnancy and an adoption proceeding regarding the child may occur and that he has a duty to protect his own rights and interest.

In order to preserve the right to notification and consent in the event of an adoption an unmarried man in the State of Florida must file a claim of Paternity with the Florida Putative Father Registry. By doing this he must confirm his inclination and intent to support the child for whom paternity is claimed. However, such a claim of paternity may not be filed after the date a Petition is filed for the Termination of Parental Rights.

whos your daddy.jpgAs a Jacksonville Paternity Lawyer, I often have cases where the parties are not married but they have a child in common. In my experience many men falsely believe simply because their name is on the birth certificate that they are legally the fathers. In Florida this is simply not the case!

Under Florida law, until a Judge signs an Order which determines you are the father, then the child is NOT legally yours. As such, you have no legal rights to the child for timesharing or parental rights of any kind.

In order to be recognized as the legal father in Florida it is necessary to file what is called a Petition for Determination of Paternity. Paternity actions are brought before the court in order to assist a parent in acknowledging and protecting important time-sharing and child support rights and/or obligations.

dress.jpgHiring a good Florida Family Law Attorney is one of the more important decisions you can make in your family law issue. A good attorney will use the most persuasive means to advocate your cause.

Sometimes, however, people overlook a very important aspect of persuasion: your attire. As the client, you want to give the court the best impression you can. This means you need to dress conservatively. The court may not say anything if you show up in jeans and a cut-off shirt; however, the court definitely does notice it. You want to make a good impression, so wear something you might wear to church or to a nice restaurant.

Most of all, you want to convey respect to the court. Look presentable. The court might not notice if you got a new haircut, but it will definitely notice if you just rolled out of bed. Being presentable to the court will help your Florida Family Law Attorney persuade the court to your side. Contact an attorney to discuss any family law issues you may have.

Florida Statute 61.13001 governs this issue of parental relocation with a minor child. The Statute defines Relocation as, “a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or other person from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing. The change of location must be at least 50 miles from that residence, and for at least 60 consecutive days not including a temporary absence from the principal residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.”

The Statute further states, in so many words, unless an agreement has been entered between the parents as to the relocation the parent desiring to relocate must file a Petition to Relocate with the Court and serve the same upon the other parent.

As a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer, I know what this Petition needs to entail and the process of filing it and arguing it (if necessary) before a Judge.

In Florida all parents must contribute to the support of their minor child(ren). A minor child is defined as a child who has not yet reached majority (18 years old). If however, the child is 18 but is still in high school, than child support can be extended until either high school graduation or the child’s 19th birthday; whichever occurs first.

Child support in Jacksonville is based upon the Florida Child Support Guidelines and the net income of both parents. It is based solely upon income and parent’s expenses or cost of living is never considered. Parents CANNOT legally waive child support. Child support is a right of the child, thus not a right of parents who can choose to waive them. Therefore, in every case where there are minor children, child support must be determined.

For more information regarding Child Support in Jacksonville, Florida, contact a Jacksonville Child Support Attorney today.

moving.jpg“Can I move out of state as primary parent of my child?” As a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney, I continually receive this question and just received it again in my email. I have also previously written a blog on it.

To briefly answer this question, a parent who has majority timesharing with their child(ren) may move out of state. However, there are a few hoops that need to be jumped first.

Specifically, Florida law requires parents who want to relocate with their children, thus moving more than fifty (50) miles away from the minority timesharing parent, to file with the court a Motion to Relocate. This Motion must be heard and granted by the Court prior to relocating.

paternity.jpgAs a family law attorney in Florida, I often have cases where the parties are not married but they have a child in common. Many people have the false impression that simply because they are on the birth certificate that this acknowledges that they are the father. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Until a Judge signs an Order that orders that you are the father, then the child is not legally yours and will not inherit under your estate as an heir of yours if you pass away. As such, you have no legal rights to the child for timesharing, visitation or parental rights in Florida until a Judge determines that you do. Please contact a Jacksonville family law attorney for help in getting your parental rights established.

Can both parents mutually agree to waive child support payments in a divorce or paternity action?

As an Orange Park Child Support Attorney I have come across this topic on several occasions. I always tell clients and potential clients that child support is a right that benefits the child. A parent’s child support obligation cannot be removed by agreement and a child’s right to receive support from their parents is inherent and cannot be waived. Eliminating child support is simply not an option.

Contact an Orange Park Child Support Attorney to learn more about child support and other family law issues.

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