Should I File a Paternity Action in Maitland?
As the marriage rate has fallen in the United States, the out-of-wedlock birth rate has risen above 40 percent. The proportion is much higher among certain ethnic groups. While such births have lost most or all of their social stigma, these mothers still face significant emotional, legal, and financial issues, at least in most cases.
So, it is normally a good idea to partner with a Maitland paternity lawyer and pursue a paternity order. Even if the mother has some misgivings about the process, some workarounds may be available. And, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
The Benefits of an Orange County Paternity Order
Legally, a paternity order provides structure and organization. The court sets visitation times between father and child. Additionally, these orders often contain visitation restrictions. Supervised contact, random alcohol or substance tests, and neutral location exchanges spring immediately to mind.
Moreover, paternity orders clearly establish a mother’s legal rights. These rights include designating things like the child’s:
- Residence: Normally, the residential parent has the right to designate any residence for the child. Sometimes, the court imposes geographic restrictions, such as a limitation to Orange County or neighboring counties.
- School and/or Daycare: Educational designation also include the right to place the child in extracurricular activities. In most cases, the father must pay for a portion of these activities.
- Physician: Paternity orders have significant medical benefits. Without such orders, doctors cannot access the child’s full medical history.
Typically, the father has input into these decisions, but the mother has the right to choose. Additionally, the father has the right to attend school activities and other such events, at least in most cases.
Generally, paternity orders also contain financial provisions. An Orange County judge may order the father to pay child support and reimburse the mother for birthing expenses. Plus, if the father receives VA or other government benefits, the child may be entitled to benefits as well.
These legal and financial orders have emotional benefits. Instead of irregular visits at inconsistent times, mother and child can make a predictable schedule. Additionally, the financial support helps many families make ends meet.
Obstacles to Paternity in Florida
In many situations, the news is not all positive. In fact, there may be situations where mothers have significant misgivings about filing a paternity action.
Court petitions are usually public record. So, if the mother files a petition, the father may find out where she lives. However, a Maitland family law attorney is usually able to seal this part of the official record, or perhaps even omit it altogether.
Moreover, many paternity orders also contain temporary or permanent protective orders. Such an order is not just a piece of paper. Violating a protective order is such a serious matter that many fathers will think twice before they do so. Additionally, a protective order lets mothers inform their workplaces and the child’s daycare that there may be an issue.
Other women do not file paternity petitions because these petitions make it easier for fathers to obtain additional custody or visitation rights. That may be true, but the father still has the burden of proof when making such requests. Additionally, fathers can file paternity actions on their own at any time. Finally, the tangible benefits of a paternity order far outweigh this potential disadvantage.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer
A paternity action is almost always a very good idea. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Maitland, contact The Troum Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Seminole County and nearby jurisdictions.