Father with son and skateboardThis is the next article in my series on the handling of Melbourne, Florida family law cases which involve a paternity dispute. My last post discussed the determination of custody after paternity is established. It is important that parents retain a qualified attorney to assist them with litigating such matters. Counsel can assist with making sure that one’s evidence is properly presented. In this article I will discuss an issue which arises more often than one may think – paternity disputes which involve older children. If you are involved in such a situation then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Paternity disputes often involve cases where the biological father has had little to no contact with the child. In matters involving a toddler or a child who is very young, it is generally not as difficult for the dad to establish a meaningful relationship with is or her child. The older one’s son or daughter gets, however, then the harder it can be to form such a bond. This is why the Courts will adopt a “unification plan” in cases involving older children. The specifics of any such plan will depend on the age of the child as well as the particulars of each individual case.

Unification plans will typically begin with the father spending a certain amount of time with the child in the presence of the mother. As things progress, the dad will generally spend more and more time with the child. It is typically the Court’s goal for the dad to have a regular visitation schedule, if not joint custody (depending on the circumstances). It is important to note that the Court will expect the mother to be supportive of the process. This includes encouraging the child to attend visitation, not demeaning the father in the presence of the child, and not discussing the litigation with the child. The Court will typically hold “status checks” in such matters to see how the visitation is progressing.

One point I cannot stress enough is that cases, which involve older children, are going to be very fact specific. How the Court will rule in any given instance will depend on the particulars of your case. This is why it is vital that you retain an attorney to guide you through the process. As a Melbourne paternity lawyer I am able to assist with such matters. Contact my office today.

Our office also services clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.