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Legal Tips for Unmarried Parents in Florida: Guidance from a Leading Florida Law Firm

dewitt law firm custody lawyer in orlando
dewitt law firm custody lawyer in orlando

Navigating parenthood can be complex, and the challenges often multiply for unmarried parents who must manage their parental responsibilities without the legal framework of marriage. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as an unmarried parent under Florida law is critical to ensuring the well-being of your child.

As a top-tier Florida law firm with a wealth of experience in family law, we are well-versed in the legal complexities unmarried parents face. In this blog post, we will share valuable legal tips for unmarried parents in Florida.


Establishing Paternity

In Florida, if a child is born to unmarried parents, the mother is automatically granted sole legal and physical custody until paternity is established. If you’re an unmarried father, the first step is to legally establish paternity to secure your parental rights. This can be done voluntarily by both parents signing a Paternity Acknowledgement form at the hospital or later, or it can be established by court order.


Understanding Parental Rights

Once paternity is established, an unmarried father has the same rights as a married father. This includes the right to petition for visitation or shared custody and the responsibility for child support. Conversely, an unmarried mother has the right to seek child support from the child’s father.


Creating a Parenting Plan

Creating a comprehensive parenting plan is crucial for unmarried parents. A parenting plan outlines time-sharing schedules, decision-making authority, and communication methods. Florida courts encourage shared parental responsibility, where both parents jointly make important decisions regarding the child’s welfare.


Modifying Child Support Orders

In Florida, either parent can request a modification of child support orders if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as income, health care costs, or child care expenses. It’s important to understand that child support is designed to benefit the child, and courts take modification requests seriously.


Protecting Your Rights in Court

Unmarried parents have the same rights to representation in court as married parents. If you’re involved in a dispute over custody, child support, or visitation, it’s important to seek legal representation to ensure your rights and your child’s best interests are upheld.



Navigating the legal landscape as an unmarried parent in Florida can be challenging. It’s essential to understand your rights and responsibilities to ensure the best possible outcomes for your child.

As a renowned Florida law firm, we specialize in providing comprehensive legal services tailored to the unique needs of unmarried parents. If you’re facing a legal issue related to your parental rights or responsibilities, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert guidance.