What Happens if the Father Refuses to Sign Birth Certificate?


What Happens if the Father Refuses to Sign Birth Certificate?

There are a few ways to substantiate paternity in family court. It is important to have both parents in a child’s life. The court has jurisdiction over all familial matters such as divorce, parental rights and responsibilities, and custody. Paternity validates the legal father and procurs rights to both the parents and child. Having a lawyer who specializes in family law can review your case giving the legal advice to move forward with a paternity lawsuit.

Establishing Paternity in Florida

Florida statutes that cover paternity are covered under § 742.011. Authenticating paternity by the court may include a genetic test as clear evidence. There are different ways to circumstantiate paternity in Florida are:


  • Through marriage
  • Acknowledgement of paternity
  • DNA testing
  • Marriage after the child is born


In order for the court to ascertain parentage, the judge must determine who the father is and the ability of both parents to financially support the child. If the court decrees the father of the child, then the judge will order parental rights and responsibilities to that child. This order includes all expenses incurred since pregnancy such as medical bills, attorney fees, and any other related bills in support the brood.


The court may also adjudicate custody, parenting time, and child support.

Genetic Testing

Genetic blood test to discern paternity has a 99% accuracy rating. A father may test their child without the mother’s consent or knowledge. Take-home tests are not legally accepted in court. You must have this test done by a medical professional or facility. Only a court order for a DNA test is legitimate evidence.

Why Paternity is Fundamental In a Child’s Life

Determining paternity legally is critical for child development. Once the father has been recognized as the minors legal parent, the family will gain the following:


  • Parenting time
  • Veteran’s benefits and social security
  • Medical coverage
  • Inheritance
  • Financial support

Fathers Rights

There are numerous ways a father can establish his parentage.


  • Voluntary paternity test
  • Sign a paternity statement
  • Sign the birth certificate
  • Court Order


Claiming paternity affords fathers more rights such as custody and parenting responsibilities. A male can object adoption of their child by filing an objection. An attorney specializing in family law can review your case and offer legal advice on your matter with confidentiality.

Legal Custody

When the birth certificate isn’t signed by the father, then the mother is the custodial parent Once paternity is established then the court may order child support and parental rights. This includes time sharing responsibilities, education, health care, and decision making. If custody is not ordered, support is still adjudicated.


Child support is determined according to guidelines under Florida statute §61.29. Allocation of support is ordered based on both parents income. If there is a significant financial change, then the order can be modified.


If the father refuses to sign the birth certificate, the mother can file a paternity lawsuit in family law court. The father will be required to appear before a judge and ordered to provide a genetic test as evidence of parentage. Find a family lawyer who can offer legal advice on this sensitive matter relating to paternity.

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