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Paternity Actions Attorney in Orlando, Florida (FL)
Aggressive Representation to Protect Your Parental Rights & Interests
Representing High Net Worth Clients With Complex & Contentious Paternity Actions Throughout the State of Florida.
When a child is born to unmarried parents, the biological father has no legally defined relationshipto the child. While this undefined nature of the parent-child relationship might not be significant as long as the couple staystogether, both parents are in a precarious position if the relationship deteriorates. The dad has no legal right to have a voice in important decisions about his child or to insist on access to his child. The father must rely on the discretion of a former paramour. Without taking legal steps, the mom might be left at the whim of the dad to provide financial support for her child.
During my 27 years as a practicing attorney in Florida, my experience has included handling an enormous number of family law cases and taking over 350 legal cases to trial. While I represent both moms and dads in paternity actions, many dads seek me out because of my commitment to pursuing the rights and obligations of fatherhood. My efforts to educate myself about child development has shown me that the involvement of both parents promotesa child’s well-being and long-term success. At the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A., we are committed to negotiating paternity settlementsbut prepared to proceed to trial to seek justice and restore familial balance.
Establishing Paternity in Florida
Many unmarried couples can agree on the allocation of legal rights and responsibilities, so these issues can be resolved by drafting appropriate documents outside of court. Since the timeshareof the parents affects child support, parents who cannot agree on how much time their child will spend with each parent or who cannot agree on child support arrangements can pursue a paternity action to establish paternal rights and obligations.
The biological father of a child refers to the identity of the man who fathered the child, but this individual does not automatically have parental rights and responsibilities. These legal rights must be established through marriage, adoption, or court ruling. If the parents agree regarding the supposed dad’s paternity in Florida, the parties can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Execution of this form provides the most efficient and inexpensive means of establishing the full rights and responsibilities of a father, including the rights to participate in decisions and spend time with the child, as well as the obligation to provide financial support.
When unmarried parents cannot agree on the parentage of the child, either party can file an action to establish paternity. (If the dad is not seeking custody or visitation rights, the mom can obtain an administrative order that establishes paternity and child support through the Department of Revenue). The court can determine the supposed father’s paternity through evidence of the parental relationship or a DNA test. Evidence other than DNA testing might include the testimonyof friends and family that a party made statements publicly acknowledging he was the father of the child. When DNA testing is used to prove parentage, the cost of the testing typically will be shared by the parties.
Disestablishing Paternity in Florida
When a man is served with a summons and complaint to establish paternity, the alleged father must file a response to prevent a default judgment. Although the man might believe he is the father based on representations by the mom, allowing a default judgment can be a risky proposition. The default judgment will establish the father’spaternity and his obligation for child support. If the dad later discovers he is not the father of the child, he might find he is stuck paying child support even though he is not the child’s biological father.
Although Florida statutes do furnish a procedure for challenging a prior determination of legal paternity, you should seek representation from an experienced family law trial attorney because the process is difficult. The court can rely on past court proceedings, conversations, or comments made previously by the alleged father as admissions of paternity. The best practice is to consult with an experienced Orlando paternity attorney if you are involved in a paternity case. If there has already been a judgment or you are currently in default, you should seek legal advice immediately regarding what steps can be taken to protect your legal rights.
High-Profile Paternity Actions in Florida
High-Profile parties like professional athletes, actors, musicians, CEOs, professionals, and other business owners can be targets of false claims of paternity. The negative publicity could threaten your career, family,and financial security. Our law firm has established a reputation for effective representation of celebrities, so we work to protect your privacy while exposing false allegations of paternity. If you are the biological parent, we work to protect your rights, reputation, and future.
While parental actions pose difficult challenges for all parents, professional athletes, actors/actresses, professionals, CEOs, and other high-profile individuals are particularly likely to confront this issue. These types of careers often involve significant amounts of money. Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary has experience representing wealthy business people and celebrities facing these issues, she has the creativity and knowledge needed to strive for a resolution in parental move-away cases favorable to her clients.
Speak to Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today
Orlando paternity lawyer Beryl Thompson-McClary will work diligently to amicably resolve issues of paternity, child custody, visitation, and child support. My approach mirrors Florida law in promoting the rights and responsibilities of both parents. We know that children dobetter when parents can resolve their legal issues amicably without denigrating the other parent in the presence of the child. Despite experienced handling hundreds of trials, we know the best option in most cases is to resolve parentage issues without contentious litigation.
Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today
Paternity Actions Lawyer Beryl Thompson-McClary uses creativity, persuasiveness, and experience to assist clients in negotiating parenting plans that clearly define their time-sharing and parental responsibilities. When our clients are worried that the other parent’s past bad decisions or unsafe conduct puttheir children at risk, we do not hesitate to take a caseto trial. We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.
390 N. Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM (weekend or evening are available by appointment)
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