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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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Have an issue regarding paternity in Florida. I live in Michigan,

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Have an issue regarding paternity in Florida. I live in Michigan, but mother and newborn live in Florida. What are my risk? Is a DNA test in order or is it a little early. I am married and want to keep this matter private. If DNA is appropriate and it comes back positive, can I make a private arrangement with the mother and should it be in writing and payments recorded for future protection. We currently have a pleasant relationship.
Dear JACUSTOMER - Yes you will need to get a DNA test unless you simply want to agree to paternity. Generally the child support will be set through the court with payments made through the child support office. Child support is based on the respective incomes of the parties and calculated according to the court guidelines. Whether you can keep this private between the two of you I cannot say but if you simply agree that you are the father you can pay support directly to the mother without going through the court.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If we decide to keep this private, verbally agree to paternity and a payment agreement, should it be in writing and what sort of record should be kept for future protection.

No agreement you make with respect to child support is going to be enforceable in the court so you are taking a risk doing it that way. The proper procedure is to have everything done through the court and calculated according to the court guidelines but you indicated you wanted to keep it private. Eventually I'm afraid you will have to involve the court since this is going to be something that will be in effect for 18 years and sooner or later there i likely to be a disagreement. The will not credit any payments you make privately and that also can become an issue. So I would recommend getting the DNA test and making certain you are the father and paying the support through the court.
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