Experienced Paternity Lawyers Helping Fathers Establish Their Rights in the Tampa Bay Area
Did you know that being listed on your child’s birth certificate isn’t enough to protect your rights as a father? It’s true — Florida law states that if a child is born out of wedlock, the mother will automatically be the natural guardian unless and until the father takes affirmative steps to legally establish his parental rights. Unfortunately, many fathers don’t realize this until it’s too late. If your child’s mother places him or her up for adoption before you attempt to exercise your rights, for example, you could forfeit your rights. That’s why it’s so important that fathers take prompt proactive steps to protect their parental rights.
If you need help exercising your rights as a father, you can turn to the Law Offices of Audrey A. Jefferis, P.A., for assistance. Our paternity lawyers have extensive experience working with fathers throughout the Tampa Bay area, and we’ll take the steps necessary to help you establish your parental rights.
How to Protect Your Rights
To establish your rights as a father, you’ll need to begin by filing a notice with Florida’s Putative Father Registry. This essentially puts all parties on alert that there’s a pending paternity claim. Once you’ve filed the necessary papers, you’ll be notified when any action is filed concerning your child, such as a petition for adoption or a petition to terminate parental rights.
Your next step will be to file an action for paternity, where you ask the court to legally establish your rights as the father of your child. It’s important to seek assistance from an experienced paternity lawyer. Once the court has established your parental rights, you’ll be on equal legal ground with the mother of your child, and you’ll be able to seek a time-sharing schedule.
For More Information
If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and you’d like to know more about what fathers can do to protect their parental rights, contact the skilled paternity lawyers at the Law Offices of Audrey A. Jefferis, P.A. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation at a date and time that fits into your schedule. Our main office, located in New Port Richey, FL, is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. We also have a satellite office in Palm Harbor, FL, if that’s more convenient for you.