Paternity is the legal process by which a man is established as a child’s father by using DNA analysis of a swab test or a blood test. If a man is not listed on the child’s birth certificate, then a paternity action is required to find the man to be the child’s legal father. The DNA must prove paternity and then be approved by the Court.

There are a variety of reasons for which it is important to establish the paternity of a child. It may be needed in order

  • To verify a child’s identity or to give a child a needed identity
  • To assist in establishing a health history necessary for a child’s medical care and treatment
  • To determine whether or not child support is owed
  • To determine whether or not persons involved qualify for public assistance
  • To allow a child to receive Social Security, health insurance, inheritance, and veterans’ benefits
  • To determine a child’s place in a line of succession for the purpose of receiving inheritance from the biological father
  • To allow the father to pursue custody or to have visitation rights
  • To allow the father’s name to be placed on the child’s birth certificate
  • To allow the father to take part in making decisions regarding the child’s medical care, religion, education, etc.
  • To allow the father to see medical and educational records

When paternity is proven, the father becomes eligible for the same rights and responsibilities as a married father. In addition, the child has the right to have the father involved in his or her life.

In Florida, a paternity action can be filed by either the child’s mother or by the man. If the man and woman were not married, the establishment of child support and visitation will require a paternity determination. Similarly, if a man wants to establish his relationship with a child, paternity will need to be determined.

If you wish to establish paternity, you need a knowledgeable attorney’s advice and counsel. The family law attorneys at Parker & DuFresne, P.A. can assist you in the filing of a paternity action to establish the child support you and your child need. If you are the subject of a paternity action, we are equally ready to assist you and make sure that you are not held financially responsible if you are not the child’s father. If you are the father, we will make sure that your rights and relationship with the child are protected.

Parker & DuFresne, P.A. serves clients in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau counties. If you are dealing with paternity issues, it is imperative that you be pro-active in seeking the legal advice and representation of an experienced Parker & DuFresne, P.A. attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to do so could negatively impact your ability to achieve a positive resolution to the matter. Protect your legal rights by contacting Parker & DuFresne, P. A. at 904.733.7766 or at to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A., our skilled family law attorneys are ready to represent and protect your interests during paternity proceedings.