I have said it before. If you have fathered a child with a woman to whom you are not married, you need to be proactive about getting your parental rights and child support established by a court order. If you are not and the mother of your child seeks the assistance of the state in establishing child support, you can end up with the obligation to pay support without any rights to visitation or contact with your child.
Here's another reason you should contact a family law attorney to establish your parental rights and child support obligation through a court order. If you don't you, may not be able to get credit for these child support payments when calculating child support payments for children from another relationship. Child support in Florida is calculated pursuant to Child Support Guidelines published in the state law. These Guidelines use the net incomes of the parents. The net income is the gross income minus certain deductions that are permitted by state law such as taxes and health insurance premiums. Included in the list of allowable deductions is child support paid for children from another relationship. However, in order to get this deduction the child support must be court ordered. Even if the child support is required by military regulations, it may not be treated as court ordered and you may not be able to deduct it from your gross income. In fact, you may not be able to get any credit for these other support payments at all. Contact a Tampa family law attorney to find out how you can establish your parental rights and obligations through a court order. This can save you money and frustration in the future.