More and more people are choosing to delay marriage, or are simply avoiding the institution altogether. This approach could simplify many Florida breakups, but not for couples who choose to have one or more children together. In such cases, unmarried fathers can face an uphill battle when it comes to establishing and protecting their paternity rights.
For Florida parents who are not receiving financial support from their former partner, child support collection is an essential part of providing for their children. In many cases, the first step in collecting child support is a paternity action. Establishing paternity is important and is a step that should not be put off, even for parents who anticipate an uphill battle.
A great deal of media coverage in Florida and across the nation focuses on the failure of fathers to provide financial support for their children. There is another aspect of paternity, however, that is largely overlooked. A movement is growing in one West Coast state to shine a light on paternity fraud, an issue that affects many thousands of families.
As same-sex couples in Florida and other states continue to fight to secure their rights to marry and form families of their own, the law continues to lag behind. Even after the United States Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex marriage, couples still encounter legal difficulties. Some of those problems are due to outdated language in state law that still discusses families in terms of "man" and "wife," or "mother" and "child." States are currently considering cases that involve the definition of "parent," sometimes based on the use of the word "paternity" in existing law.
When the Supreme Court ruled to legitimize same-sex marriage back in 2015, many couples were thrilled to have the chance to solidify their relationships and begin building their families, in Florida and elsewhere. Even so, same-sex couples still face challenges when it comes to bringing a child into their family. One of those challenges relates to how paternity is determined, especially when both parents are women.