Tag Archive for: paternity

Who has the Right to File a Paternity Suit?

Paternity is essentially the legal recognition that a man is the father of a child.  Establishment of paternity brings with it various rights and responsibilities, including (i) the right to establish a time-sharing (visitation) schedule for the father, (ii) the responsibility of the father to provide the child with financial support, and (iii) the right of the child to inherit from the father.

As stated in section 742.011 of the Florida Statutes, the following people may bring a paternity suit in Florida:

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What is Considered “Income” for Alimony and Child Support Purposes?

In a Florida family law case that involves a claim for alimony or child support, one of the most important preliminary considerations is how much income each party has.  In child support cases, each party’s income gets plugged into a formula that tells us what the law presumes is the correct amount of child support.  In alimony cases, the income of each party is important to help determine whether one spouse has the need for support and the other spouse has the ability to pay support.

You should keep in mind that the term “income” in family law cases is defined differently than how the term is used in the Federal Tax Code or in other situations.  Section 61.046, Florida Statutes (2011), defines “income” for family law purposes as follows:

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Is Florida the Correct State for My Child Custody Issue?

Under chapter 61, Florida Statutes, a Florida court generally has jurisdiction for a new custody case (such as (i) divorce involving children’s issues/parenting plan, (ii) paternity/ establishment of time-sharing schedule, or (iii) temporary or concurrent custody of a child by a relative) only if one of the following is true:

  • The child has lived in Florida for at least six months immediately prior to the case being filed (even if the child is or has been temporarily absent from Florida);
  • The child has moved from Florida within the past six months, but prior to that lived in Florida for at least six months; or
  • No other state or country has jurisdiction over the child (or the court of the child’s home state or country has declined jurisdiction) and the child has significant connections to Florida.

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Word Cloud: Mandatory Disclosure

In my continued quest to literally visualize statutes and rules related to Florida family law, I created the following word cloud of Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285 (Mandatory Disclosure) using Wordle:

Mandatory Disclosure Word CloudThough this word cloud makes Mandatory Disclosure seem like it belongs in discussion held at a TexMex-themed cocktail party, the fact is that the exchange of certain financial information is crucial to move along most family law matters (including divorce, paternity, child support, alimony, support unconnected with divorce, and modification of financial issues).  To that point, a court will not grant a final judgment in most cases unless financial affidavits have been exchanged and each party has filed and exchanged a certificate of compliance with mandatory disclosure.

What do you think of the mandatory disclosure word cloud?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Otherwise, if you would like to schedule a consultation with a Florida Family Law Lawyer, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form at http://www.familydiplomacy.com/contact-us.

Hillsborough County – New Child Custody Proceedings Administrative Order

Chief Judge Manuel Menendez, Jr., of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough County) recently entered a new administrative order that pertains to child custody proceedings.  Below is a summary of AO S-2011-014:

  1. For Chapter 751 Proceedings (Temporary Custody of Minor Children by Extended Family):
    1. Uncontested and Contested Proceedings:  Petitions for temporary custody of a minor child by an extended family member (i.e., grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc.) must be written and signed under oath, and filed with the clerk of the court.  The case will be assigned to the Family Law/Domestic Relations Division.  An executed Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement (“UCCJEA”) Affidavit must be included with the petition.  If the petition is being filed with the parents’ permission, written, signed, and notarized consents must be provided, unless the parents provide their consents in open court.  If a petitioner is alleging that a parent has abandoned a child, the petitioner must have evidence of abandonment.
    2. Pending Dependency Proceedings:  If a dependency case is pending when a petition for temporary custody has been filed, the Family Law judge may transfer the petition to the Juvenile Dependency Division. Read more

Technological Solutions to Shared Parental Responsibility

South Carolina Attorney Megan C. Hunt mentions some online tools available to help facilitate co-parenting:

But the reality is that co-parenting is HARD.  It is difficult for two people who have decided they can’t get along to coordinate schedules, discipline, and all the other details of raising children.

Because co-parenting is so tough (and such situations are so common), there are now services and communities especially for parents who need help.  One such program is Our Family Wizard, which provides a calendar for documenting parenting time, an internal message system for communications with your ex-spouse, the ability to keep a shared or private journal about your children, and a way to share the children’s health, education, and other records.

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What is a Parenting Plan?

According to Section 61.046 of the Florida Statutes:

“Parenting plan” means a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration.

(a) The parenting plan must be:

1. Developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by a court; or

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Retroactive Child Support

Everyone knows that a Florida court can order a parent to pay child support up until the child is 18 years, or even beyond.  But can a court order a parent to pay retroactive child support (child support that covers a period of time prior to the filing of a court action)?

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Video: The Family Law Project – Paternity

The following video from Aspen Publishing dramatizes a consultation where a young man is seeking information regarding paternity:

Please note that, in Florida, if the state files a petition to establish paternity and child support on behalf of a mother, the issue of a father’s custody rights will not necessarily be addressed.  A father has to independently file a petition or counter-petition to establish paternity and a parenting plan.  Only then will a court enter an order which (i) lays out the father’s level of parental responsibility towards the child and (ii) creates a schedule which spells out the days when a father is entitled to spend time with the child.

To contact a Florida family law attorney regarding your paternity issue, visit the website of The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., or call us at (813) 443-0615.

Filing Fees in Pasco County

I previous wrote about filing fees in Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.  In this post I review current filing fees in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco County, for common family law matters.  A person who initiates a family law case (the “Petitioner”) will pay the following:

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