Photo of Ian F. Mann

The Name You Know.
The Name You Trust.

We have deep ties to the community, we have represented clients in Southwest Florida for more than 25 years.

The Name You
The Name You

We have deep ties to the community, we have represented clients in Southwest Florida for more than 25 years.

Photo of Ian F. Mann

When is it necessary for fathers to seek a paternity action?

It can be difficult for Florida parents to work together on custody matters, whether they were never married or are going through a divorce. Custody, parenting time and parental rights are complex and emotionally charged issues, and it can lead to difficult disputes. If you are a father, you may find it particularly challenging to secure your rightful visitation time or custody rights.

Paternity is a factor in many cases involving fathers who want to seek time with their kids, especially if they were not married to the mother of the child. Issues such as presumed paternity and disputed paternity can be especially challenging and confusing for dads who simply want to protect the best interests of their children. If you are a father fighting for access to your kids, a paternity action may be necessary.

What is voluntarily assumed paternity?

There are times when there is a reasonable assumption of paternity. This is the case when a child is born to a married couple, unmarried parents sign certain forms after birth, the father raises the child as his own in his home and more. In cases involving voluntarily assumed paternity, it may never be necessary to move ahead with legally establishing the identity of the biological father.

When paternity issues arise

If the mother denies you access to your kids, disputes that you are the father or challenges your right to have a role in the lives of your children, legal action may be necessary. You can protect your parental rights as a father by taking certain steps, which may include a DNA test. Establishing paternity is legally significant, accomplishing the following: 

  • Giving you the right to pursue custody or visitation
  • Establishing financial responsibilities, giving security to your children
  • Providing your children with the knowledge of who their father is
  • Giving the children inheritance rights and claim to certain benefits

Paternity issues are complicated, and you may be unsure as to where you should start to resolve your problem and gain access to your children. Fathers play a vital role in the emotional health and overall well-being of their children, and it is critical to protect this important relationship.

If you need help fighting for custody or you have questions about whether or not legal action is necessary in your current paternity dispute, a complete evaluation of your case may be helpful to allow you to understand all of your options.


FindLaw Network

We’re conveniently located in downtown Fort Myers, just one block from the federal and state courthouses.

Practice Areas