DNA Testing While Being Pregnant

Can a paternity test be performed while you are pregnant? If you are unmarried, but expecting a child and want to establish your legal rights, a Petition to Establish Paternity must be filed.  If you are unsure whether you are the Father of the child, you can request the court to order a DNA test.  The Mother can also request a DNA to be ordered if she is unsure whether the person who filed the case is truly the biological Father. DNA tests are typically not performed until the birth of the child.  There are some options to perform the test while pregnant, however, it is costly and can be dangerous for the baby.  Most likely, the Court will not order a DNA test until the child is born.  Even though the DNA test will be done after the child is born, you do not have to wait until the child is born to file a Petition to Establish Paternity.  In fact, it is a good idea to file before the birth of that child so that a DNA test can be performed immediately after the child’s birth. The Court can order that the DNA test be performed in the hospital after the child’s birth.  The court will take no action on the case until the child is born and a DNA test proving the Father is the biological Father is filed with the Court.  If you choose to wait and file after the child is born, you should register your name with the Florida Putative Father Registry to protect your rights.  This prevents the child from being legally...

Are Divorce Records Public in Florida?

Divorce and Confidentiality In Florida, all divorce cases are public records. Florida has a broad public records law. In fact, the majority of domestic relation cases are public records including paternity cases and child support cases. The major exception to the public records law in Florida is adoption cases. Adoption records are not public records. Adoption records are sealed and require a court order to open. The only people who can obtain adoption records are the parties to the action. The purpose of keeping these records sealed is to protect the children involved. In addition to adoption cases, termination of parental rights cases and dependency cases are also not public records. If records are public, it means that any person can get information regarding a person’s divorce or other type of domestic relations case. You do not have to be a party to the action to get information. This information can be found through the Clerk of Court in the county in which the case was filed. The Final Judgment of Divorce can also be found through the Florida Vital Statistics Office and you can obtain documents for a fee. What differs from county to county is the manner in which the public records are available. In some counties, all divorce records and other domestic relation records can be accessed online through the Clerk of Court website. Often however, only the title of the document filed in the case can be viewed, and not the content of the document. Other counties have no online access available, and you must physically go to the courthouse of the county in which...

Father’s Rights before Birth

The legality of caring for and raising children separately from a partner can come with a number of issues, and there are a lot of facts that Florida fathers need to know. A pressing question on the mind of many fathers-to-be is regarding their rights regarding their unborn child. It is important to understand these facts: • The majority of the rights surrounding a pregnancy are given to the woman who is carrying the child • Because pregnancy is considered a medical condition, a woman is not legally obligated to provide any information about the course of the pregnancy to the father of the child • Likewise, a woman’s doctor is forbidden by HIPAA to release any information about his patient or her unborn child Father’s Rights Regarding Termination of Pregnancy Since the passing of Roe v Wade in 1973, women in the United States have had the right to legally terminate a pregnancy. They are not obligated by law to inform the father of the unborn child that they are having an abortion, nor are they obligated to obtain his consent. Spousal consent for abortion was declared to be unconstitutional in a landmark 1976 case which pitted Planned Parenthood of Missouri against the state’s Attorney general at the time, John Danforth. Fathers who are aware that the woman carrying their child is planning to obtain an abortion have the option of meeting with a lawyer to draft a document promising full medical care to the mother and full custody to the father, absolving her of parental responsibility. In the end, it is still a pregnant woman’s legal right...

Petition To Determine Paternity

Did you know the number of paternity tests taken in the United States has jumped 64 percent every year for the last decade? Fighting for your paternity rights is something that can cause a headache, but I think we can all agree that a headache is worth having your children in your life. There are cases where fathers are forbidden to see their children, are told they are not the father but raised the child and were asked to leave after years of involvement, and a many more. We have all heard of devastating circumstances where the father is fighting a custody battle. The definition of paternity is: the state of being someone’s father. That leaves a lot of holes for one to question. The best way of going about fighting someone on your paternal rights is a paternity to determine paternity. The first step in filing a petition for paternity in Central Florida is filling out the petition documents; you can find these documents online. If you have more than one child you are petitioning for, you may put them all on the same document as long as they are with the same mother. Once all of the documents are filled out you will need to get them signed in front of a notary. The second step is presenting the documents to the mother. Once the mother has received the documents she has twenty days to give a response. If the mother doesn’t give a response you may file a motion for Default, which is where a judgment is made based on the other party’s lack of involvement....

Paternity Rights for Men

Many times fathers don’t know what their paternal rights are. Here are some general questions to ask yourself: Am I Able To Have Time Off Of Work When My Child Is Born? New fathers are able to take off work when the child is born or when an adoption is taking place. To have the leave, you have to have been working for the same employer for 12 months by the end of the 15th week before your child is due, or having worked 25 hours a week for 50 weeks. Many employers under federal law give 12 weeks of leave. What If My Partner And I Work At The Same Company? If you and your partner work at the same company, you are allowed 12 weeks combined. You are also allowed to take the leave any time you want within the first year. If you want to spread the 12 weeks out, you can. What If I Don’t Qualify? First make sure you qualify under FMLA and State Divisions. If you do, and you’ve given your notice, let your employer know about the laws. If they still don’t give you the time, contact your human resource department to file a complaint. There are other concerns when it comes to paternal rights when you are divorced or unmarried. Having your paternal rights is important for, child support, visitation, joint custody, etc. If your child was born and you were not married to the mother, the mother has full rights until the court says differently. The first step in taking action for your paternal rights will be to take a...