If you have a child with someone and you aren’t married to that person, custodial rights and duties of support are established in a Paternity proceeding.
The issues in a paternity case are always the same:
- Parental Responsibility and Parenting Plan. A Parenting Plan governs the legal relationship between parents and their child. A Parenting Plan must establish parental responsibility. Parental Responsibility is usually shared and there is a legal presumption that shared parental responsibility is in the child’s best interests. Either parent can rebut that presumption and ask for sole parental responsibility or ultimate authority over a particular aspect of the child’s life
- Time Sharing Schedule. A Parenting Plan must contain a Time Sharing Schedule that is when the child will be spending time with the father and the mother.
- Child Support. Florida has child support guidelines to determine the presumptive amount of child support that will be paid. Child support is a mathematical calculation based on the income of each parent, the costs of child care and health insurance, and the time sharing schedule. Either parent can ask to deviate from the child support guidelines. New child support laws went into effect on January 1, 2011.
- Waiver of Child Support. The right of support is the right of the child. A parent cannot bargain away the child’s right to support. That means that even if the parents agree on the amount of child support, a judge may refuse to honor that agreement if it is not compliant with the guidelines. So your agreement may be void as against public policy and unenforceable.
- Best Interests of the Child. All statutory factors are based upon the best interests of the child.
If you have a child and are not married, call us to set up a confidential consultation at 561-820-0811 or email to Doreen@DoreenVarela.com.