Most often, paternity actions are utilized to establish a father’s respective rights and obligations to a child born out of wedlock when the parents are unable to agree on support, time-sharing, or other major decisions affecting the child’s life.
Know Your Rights
To begin, in the legal world there are two types of fathers: first, the biological father – this is the man who actually fathered a child and who can be shown through DNA testing that the child is his child. A legal father is established through marriage, adoption proceedings, or a Court order.
Generally, a legal father will have rights and obligations to a child; however, this is not always the case for a biological father.
Typical parental rights and obligations include the obligation to financially support a child (child support); the ability to make major decisions affecting the welfare of a child, including, but not limited to, decisions about a child education, non-emergency healthcare, and religious training. Further, each parent normally has the ability to make day-to-day decisions regarding the care and control of a child while that child is scheduled to reside with that parent.
Your Attorney’s Obligation To You
Your attorney’s obligation is to be your staunchest representative and an officer of the Court. We will provide you with the most practical and straightforward advice available in assessing each client’s situations and goals.
Attorney Client Privilege
In Florida, the attorney-client privilege is codified in Section 90.502, Florida Statutes. This law states that, generally, communications between a client and their attorney are confidential. In other words, without a legal waiver or other specific exceptions, you and/or your attorney cannot be compelled to disclose communications made in performing our services.
Relationship Based On Trust
From the initial consult through the final hearing, it is of the utmost importance for attorneys and clients to be truthful with one another and for there to be trust between them. The pair are a team and trust is essential. We believe in being transparent with our clients and we cannot afford to be surprised at any time in a case because a client has failed to be transparent with us. If the idea should ever cross your mind and you question, Should I tell my attorney this? The answer should always be, Yes – we are available to then tell you if “this” may be an issue.
Your Attorney’s Role
An attorney may have several roles throughout a case, especially in family law. We may be your representative, your advocate, your advisor, an/or your counselor.
Generally, each parent is entitled to have access to medical and school records pertaining to a child and parents are permitted to independently consult with any and all professionals involved with a child. Both parents are generally entitled to be listed as an emergency contact for a child. Lastly, both parents are generally able to spend time with the minor child.
Obviously, these rights and responsibilities are simplified and generalized and it must be noted that these are the rights and responsibilities which one parent is often trying to withhold or enforce against another parent. Given on the specific facts and circumstances of each case, these parental rights can be curtailed, solely assigned and/or eliminated, or expanded by a Court. To see what your rights and responsibilities may be if you are an unwed parent, please give us a call and schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.