Fort Lauderdale, FL asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Florida

Q: If son's father has been absent my entire pregnancy, is it likely that the courts will allow him to major parental right

Like changing his last name to his, or make major decisions. I want to keep my son's last name as mine and make all the decisions but I don't mind him seeing him or spending time with him. Should I not file for support at all?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert Stone Jeffrey
Robert Stone Jeffrey
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: This is not a simple question to answer in the forum context. Much depends upon whether you are married to him. If you are unmarried, you have all of the rights until his paternity is legally established. If the child is born with 1 name, and he later establishes his paternity and petitions the Court for a name change, he would somehow have to show the court that changing that name is in the best interests of the child--this is not an easy standard. As for parental rights, once his paternity is established, a court can determine a time-sharing schedule, parenting plan, and child support. He can file the action to establish paternity, or you can file it and seek child support. The presumption is that you both should share parental responsibility over any major decisions. Absent evidence that it would be in the child's best interests for him to have no parental responsibility over all or some issues, shared parental responsibility should be awarded. A time-sharing schedule will be based upon the child's best interests. Some of the factors that the court will consider at specifically set out in Section 61.13, Florida States.

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