Articles Posted in Paternity

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Just because you are not married to the mother of your child does not mean that you do not wish to play a role in your child’s life. Unfortunately, in order to legally gain parental rights, you must take certain steps under the law in the state of Florida. In some cases, gaining legal paternity can be relatively simple and will requiring signing a form and filing it with the state. If the mother of your child tries to fight against you paternity claim, however, you may find yourself facing a legal battle in court. One recent case that was resolved shows how difficult some paternity cases may become.

Jason Patric Wins Paternity Case

Jason Patric is an actor who had been fighting for legal paternity rights to his biological son for two years. When Patric’s former girlfriend wanted to have a child, he agreed to offer his sperm for her to use for in vitro fertilization (IVF), which resulted in the birth of a son. Patric was not listed on his son’s birth certificate and he and the mother did not sign a parenting agreement. However, Patric states that the two parents rekindled their relationship and that he participated in raising the boy. When the relationship again soured, Patric states that the mother refused to allow him to be in contact with her son.

Patric filed a paternity claim that resulted in a battle in court. The mother claimed that Patric was never involved in the boy’s life and that he was verbally abusive. The lower court originally ruled that Patric had no parental rights because the court decided that he was merely a “sperm donor.” On appeal, Patric won the right to a retrial and this time the court ruled in his favor. He was granted parental rights to his son and stated he plans to seek custody and visitation rights.

In 2013, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that an egg donor had legal parental rights. In that case, one woman provided eggs and her same-sex partner carried the child. After the relationship broke up, the birth mother took the daughter to Australia, which led to the mother whose eggs were donated to seek parental rights. The case led the Florida Supreme Court to rule that Florida’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Statute did not apply to cases in which it was clearly intended that the egg or sperm donor would have a role in the child’s life, such as in many same-sex couples. The law still stands in relation to anonymous donors, however.

Contact a Boca Raton Family Lawyer for Assistance

If you are facing a paternity suit, you do not want to risk losing your parental rights to spend time and build a relationship with your child. Instead, you should always consult with an experienced family law attorney in Boca Raton who has a thorough understanding of Florida laws and how they will relate to your case. Call the office of Alan R. Burton for all of your family law needs today.

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Over the years, I have had the opportunity to discuss child support issues with many parents. A frequent question that often arises is whether one parent has the right to waive the receipt of child support from the other parent?

The answer to this question is simple, NO! There are scores of cases in Florida which clearly state that the entitlement to child support is a right that belongs to the child, not to the parent, and the parent has absolutely no right to waive receipt of those funds.

What about the situation when a father proclaims his desire not to have any part in the child’s life, in exchange for a release of his child support obligation. Will this work to release the father from his obligation? Again, the same answer, NO.

I recently read an article dealing with individuals in the “public eye,” which dealt with this very issue of waiving the obligation to pay child support, and I find it contrary to law. This of course would be the story of Kate and Jon, which is all over the internet. Kate has publicly indicated that she has released Jon from his child support obligation. It was reported in a story in the Star magazine. There will be more to this story in the future. Most likely an agreement is in place for a temporary abatement of support, but certainly not the total eradication of support for all those kids. Stay tuned.

The payment of child support is not discretionary, it is mandatory. The payment of child support is a joint obligation of both parents. The Florida Child Support Guidelines are based upon this concept, so that each parent bears their proportionate share of the expense to raise their children.

Further information on this subject, as well as on other issues, can be found on my website at www.alanburtonlaw.com. With over 30 years of experience, I am well qualified to answer and address any and all of your concerns with family law issues of any kind, including divorce, annulment, paternity and child support issues.

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1182574_no_sex.jpgYes, it is possible to have the court vacate a paternity decree after it has been entered, even if years have passed by. The remedy is found in section 742.18, Florida Statutes (2006).

This statute creates circumstances under which a male may disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation when he receives “newly discovered evidence” demonstrating that he is not the biological father of the child. Section 742.18(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2006).

The statute does not require a petitioner to prove fraud or duress when attempting to disestablish paternity. Rather, the statute clearly establishes the necessary allegations, requisite trial court findings, and conduct that would prohibit disestablishing paternity. Section 742.18(1)-(3), Fla. Stat.(2006).

The recent case of Johnston v. Johnston, 979 So2d 337 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008) sets forth a very clear explanation of the statute and how it works. I would recommend this case to anyone facing this particular situation.

For further information on this statute and possible assistance, you can contact me at www.alanburtonlaw.com.

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