Florida Trial Attorneys                          

Paternity Litigation

Christian Van Riper

Timothy Nies

"We take our jobs seriously..."

Van Riper & Nies combines court experience, compassion, skill, hard work and trust when representing our clients in paternity actions...


Our attorneys represent mothers, children and fathers who believe he is the biological father in paternity actions to establish the legal father. We represent petitioners seeking child support and parenting plans and file petitions for determination of paternity in West Palm Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Deerfield Beach, Florida.  

Under Florida law, paternity is the determination of legal father status, in particular, who has the legal rights and duties of being a child’s parent. Usually, this is establishing using biology. The legal father in Florida is usually listed on an official birth certificate, which provides notice that he is the father. The father has the right to make decisions regarding his child and shares with the mother the responsibilities, including financial responsibilities of raising the child. A biological father who has not obtained such a legal status of the father has restricted rights under Florida law.

When a child is born outside of a marriage and paternity is not disputed, the status as the legal father can form without a formalized paternity action if, in writing, both the mother and father agree that he is the father usually by way of an affidavit signed by both the mother and father. A man may also obtain the status of the legal father if he marries the mother after the child is born if he is the “reputed father”.

In Florida, where no legal father has been recognized, paternity proceedings may be commenced to determine the identity of the biological father to establish that he is the “legal father”. Paternity cases are determined by DNA testing or by stipulation as mentioned above.

Pursuant to the case Eldridge v. Eldridge, the presumption of paternity arising from marriage to the mother at the time of conception or birth has often been characterized as one of the “strongest presumptions known in the law. It can be overcome when all parties agree that the “natural” father is different from the husband of the mother or by evidence that the mother did not live with or have intimate contact with the husband for years prior to the birth.

Several Florida cases hold that an alleged biological father lacks standing to assert paternity of a child born into the marriage of another. Meaning, that the courts make the husband-father presumption irrebuttable when it is the alleged biological father who seeks to establish parental rights. 

In Florida dissolution of marriage proceedings, the husband may choose to assert his rights as a father of any children born during the marriage that are not biologically his, and it is hard for the mother and the ostensible biological father to defeat that claim.

For more information about our Family Law practice and for a free consultation, please call us day or night, complete the contact form below, or e-mail us.

By Tim Nies

West Palm Beach:
801 Northpoint Parkway
Suite 375
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 948-5588

900 SE Ocean Boulevard
Suite 140-E
Stuart, FL 34994
(772) 283-8712


Deerfield Beach:
10 Fairway Drive #139
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
(954) 369-0776

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Delray Beach:
55 SE 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach 33444
(561) 894-9862

Boca Raton:
9825 Marina Boulevard
Suite 100A
Boca Raton, FL 33428
(561) 948-5589

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*The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you full written information about our qualifications and experience. Please note that you are not considered a client until you have signed a retainer agreement and your case has been accepted by us in writing. An attorney client relationship is not established by submitting an email or a form from this website.

Our Florida family law attorneys represents mothers, father and children in parternity actions in Stuart, West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie FL.

Our family law firm serves clients in Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and throughout Martin and Palm Beach Counties. Paternity lawyers in FL. Family law lawyers in Stuart, FL. Paternity attorneys in West Palm Beah, FL. Florida Lawyers Home. Family law firms in West Palm Beach FL and Stuart Florida. Stuart easy divorce. Uncontested divorce law in Florida.  Stuart FL divorce law firms. Divorce law firm represents spouses in divorce in Port St. Lucie, FL.

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