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In Florida, about 12 out of every 25 live births are to unwed mothers, according to the Florida Office of Vital Statistics, 2013 Annual Report. When parents of these minor children do not stay together as a family, and reside in different households, there are legal rights and responsibilities established by law. The Courts in Florida generally treat a child born from unmarried parents, who are no longer together, the same as a child born or adopted within a marriage by parents who get divorced. However, until the out of wedlock father’s paternity is legally established by the Court, the mother is the automatic guardian of the child, and has sole rights to parental responsibilities and time with her child. In some cases, DNA testing is used to determine the father of the child. Catherine has experience representing both fathers and mothers in these types of cases.

Once the Court has established a man as the legal father of a child born out of wedlock, both parents have an obligation to provide monetary support for the child, and both have rights to time-sharing with the child. At that point, unwed parents have the same opportunity as divorcing parents to design a Parenting Plan that sets out, in detail, the rights and responsibilities of each parent, including a weekly timesharing schedule, holiday timesharing, designation of vacation time, establishing telephone and electronic communication, who pays for daycare, school expenses, camp, medical insurance, un-insured medical and dental expenses, who is authorized to watch the child in the parents’ absence, and every other factor affecting the well-being of that child.

Catherine brings over thirty years of experience to each Paternity case, and helps the client choose the path that is best for the child, under the specific circumstances of that case. In most cases, Mediation is an effective method to resolve the outstanding issues without going to Court. In high certain cases, the Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to focus on the needs and best interest of the child whose parents are involved in a Paternity Case.


Contact Contact Boca Raton Family Law Attorney Catherine I. Favitta to schedule a consultation regarding your Paternity Case, or other family law matter, to discuss your situation, receive information to help you analyze your next steps, and find out how a thorough evaluation of the parenting issues in your case can protect the best interests of your child, give your family a secure future, and make every effort to successfully resolve your case without litigating in Court.

Additional information:
Florida Department of Revenue – Establishing Legal Paternity
Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics – Florida Vitial Statistics Annual Report 2013


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Boca Raton, Florida 33431

(561) 750-7477
Boca Raton

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