Do I need a lawyer?
Yes, you do. I understand that you know you are the father. Your name may already be on the birth certificate. Maybe you live together.
Maybe you already have agreed on timeshare.
But you don’t have any RIGHTS!
So, just in case mom gets a better job in a different state, what do you think can happen? She can move, and the child goes with her. And you still don’t have any rights.
If you were unmarried when your child was born, the state of Florida recognizes the rights of the mother because the State is very certain that she is the mother because she physically gave birth. Biologically you are certain you are the dad. OK, that is just not the same as having legal rights as a parent.
If the mother collects any services from the State, the Florida State Department of Revenue may establish child support in an effort to reimburse the State for the free services to the child. Or if the Mother asks the State to establish child support, you may be obligated to pay child support, but the payment of child support does not provide an unmarried father any legal rights.
If the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth, but your name is on the birth certificate, guess what? The married man is the legal father.
Do you need a lawyer? Yes, you do.
Deborah Cook is serious about the rights of fathers. You have every reason to consult with someone regarding your legal rights and how to preserve your rights and relationship with you child.