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We are a law firm operating out the St. Petersburg, FL area, focusing on Family Law services, such as: Divorce, Child Support, Paternity, Alimony and other Family Law matters. We offer in office consultations/over the phone consultations, and are available for weekend appointments.  

St. Petersburg Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO YOU ESTABLISH PATERNITY?

In paternity law, there is one term that you will frequently see that is not a term commonly used outside of legal circles, the term putative father. The term "putative father" is a man who is alleged to be the father of a child, or who claims to be the father of a child, but it hasn't been proven yet. So, the next question would be, how is paternity established in the state of Florida? 1) A married couple has a child; 2) A child was born out of wedlock, but the mother and father later marry each other; 3) The father acknowledges paternity; 4) A paternity lawsuit is filed by either the mother, the father, or the child or 5)A court in another state has determined paternity. In order to establish paternity, #3 is fairly common (for dad to enforce his rights and for mom to seek child support). Per Chapter 742 of the Florida Statutes, a Paternity case can be filed. Please remember that if both parents were not married at conception or when the child was born, the mother is the legal guardian and sole decision maker. This essentially means that in order for the child or children's father to enforce his rights to see his child/children, he must file a Paternity action. It's also possible that father can be on the hook for child support during this time, which is why it is imperative to file as soon as possible to enforce your rights.

WHAT IS A "FINANCIAL AFFIDAVIT?"

The financial affidavit is the most important document in the legal dissolution marriage case. It must be as accurate as possible. I would refrain from beginning any discussions of financial matters without sworn financial affidavits from both sides. If a substantial and material change occurs that affects the information, you must amend your document. A court will refrain from holding any hearing in relation to financial matters unless both parties have filed financial affidavits. One mistake often made by laypersons is to take a weekly expense and multiply it by four to get a monthly amount. There are 4.3 weeks per month so the amount will be less than the accurate sum. You may want to put on your financial affidavit how the sums were determined. A second common mistake is to put items that are not actually paid, but are items that the party feels he or she should have had during the marriage or desires to have. Remember, the financial affidavit should not be a "wish list," or inflated. Judges do not assume or expect an inaccurate financial affidavit and inaccuracy affects the judge's view of the party's credibility in the entire case.

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