• Paul J. Phipps, Esquire

Paternity - Establishing Paternity

Updated: Mar 24

When a child is born out of wedlock "paternity law" governs the rights of the parents. Florida Statute 742 is the law that primarily governs the establishment of paternity in Florida.


The Mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise. (see Florida Statute 744.301(1)) In essence the Mother has the authority to make all major decisions related to the child without involving the Father in any way, including the authority to relocate out of state with the child to another state.

If there is a dispute or question of who the Father of the child is, either parent can request a court ordered DNA test (see Florida Statute 742.12) Depending on the outcome of the paternity test either party may choose to seek a disestablishment of paternity.


Call Phipps at (813) 600-3201 or Contact Us to schedule a free 15 minute telephone consultation to better understand your rights and to learn how legal representation may benefit you with your specific situation.

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