Paternity Actions

The Law Office of Elizabeth J. Coviello, P.A.

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Paternity Actions

Paternity actions are brought to legally establish the identity of the biological father of a child.  

Establishing or disestablishing paternity affects the rights and obligations of both the father and the child in the action.

It is important to understand that in the State of Florida a child born during an intact marriage is presumed to be the legal child of the Husband.  If the Husband of the marriage is not the biological father of the child, then proceedings must be initiated in order to disestablish the Husband’s presumed legal obligations and legal rights to the child.  

A child born to an unmarried mother, on the other hand, results in no presumption of paternity under the law.  In other words, the biological father or another interested party must initiate court proceedings for the establishment of paternity.  

Generally, for a biological Father to a child born out-of-wedlock to understand that prior to the establishment of paternity including other specific relief ordered by the Court, the Father’s has no legal rights with respect to the child.  Likewise, absent Court Order, the Father has no legal obligations to the child.  

A Father’s name listed on a child’s birth certificate alone has no legal effect upon the Father’s legal rights or obligations to the child.  The consequences of failing to understand this legal reality can be severe.  This misunderstanding of the law has resulted in many Fathers suddenly finding themselves the subject of an Amber Alert and suspect in a criminal kidnapping charge.      

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