Why Don’t Fathers Who are Unwed Have Automatic Legal Rights?

One of the greatest and most amazing feelings in the world is becoming a parent. Fathers can be the pinnacles of their children’s lives and one of the most influential people that a child will ever meet. Yet, there are some barriers that can take place when one becomes a father and is not married to the mother of their child. A father needs to know that he doesn’t have rights without a court order. According to Florida law, the fathers parental right is not presumed, but rather has to be established through the Florida court system. Simply signing the birth certificate is not enough for the to establish their paternity in Florida.

According to 742.10 “if an affidavit, a notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that is witnessed by two individuals and signed under penalty of perjury is executed by both parties constitutes the establishment of paternity for purposes of this chapter. If an adjudicatory proceeding was not held, a notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, which is witnessed by two individuals and signed under penalty of perjury creates a rebuttable presumption, of paternity and is subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the acknowledgment within 60 days after the date the acknowledgment was signed or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order, in which the signatory is a party, whichever is earlier.”

You can read further about the establishment of parental rights and the process of establishing those right in the Florida statute mentioned above.

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