As of July 1, 2023, unmarried fathers in Florida have the same legal rights and responsibilities as married fathers, without having to go through the court system. This is a significant change, as unmarried fathers previously had to file a paternity petition and establish paternity in court before they could have any legal rights to their children.
The new law applies to all unmarried fathers, regardless of whether they were involved in the child’s life during the pregnancy or not. It also applies to fathers of children born before July 1, 2023.
Under the new law, unmarried fathers have the right to:
- Be involved in all decision-making regarding the child’s upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religious training.
- Have regular and meaningful contact with the child.
- Seek child custody or visitation rights.
- Establish paternity without having to go to court.
- Receive child support.
- Be notified of any legal proceedings involving the child.
The new law also makes it easier for unmarried fathers to establish paternity. Fathers can now establish paternity by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form at the hospital or by signing a court-ordered acknowledgment of paternity form.
The changes to the law are a positive step for unmarried fathers in Florida. They will give fathers more opportunities to be involved in their children’s lives and to help raise them.
Family Law can be complicated and frustrating, navigating the system can be costly and burdensome. At Tumarkin & Burns, P.A. of Osceola County, Florida we’ve seen it all and helped hundreds of family law clients. If you need help or have questions, we are here to help. Simply click here and schedule an appointment with our team.
This is for informational purposes only, not to be construed as legal advice.
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