Florida Paternity Legitimization

by Jill from Charlotte, North Carolina

In order for child support to be collected in Florida, does the child have to be legitimized first?

Answer to Florida Court Forms Question

Dear Jill,

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the child being legitimized. Assuming that you are the child's mother and are living in North Carolina, and the father is living in Florida -- my first question is whether the father has admitted to paternity.

The next question is whether you know how to locate the child's father, if you have a current address for him.

And finally is there a child support order in place at all? If you were married to the child's father when the child was born there is a legal presumption that he is the father. He can refute that presumption through a DNA test, if he doesn't believe that he was the father.

If you are in North Carolina with the child and the father is in Florida, and there is no child support order whatsoever, your first step is to petition the court for child support through North Carolina courts.

I don't know how it works in North Carolina, but in Florida the entity that collects child support is the Florida Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement. North Carolina then can enforce their order in a long arm enforcement action under the Uniform Interstate Support Act (UISA).

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