Paternity is established in one of two ways in Florida: wither by a child being born during a marriage, or established by law through the Court. Paternity is not established by an unmarried biological father signing a child birth certificate, but signing the birth certificate does create a legal presumption that the man who signed the birth certificate is the father of the child.
Either parent may file a Petition to Establish Paternity, which is the legal process that identifies the legal father of the child, and also determines child support, parental responsibility, timesharing, and other related relief such as which parent will provide medical insurance for the child, which parent will be entitled to claim the child as a dependent on Federal income tax returns, and religious training for the child. The Court has the authority to order DNA testing to determine the child's biological father.
Even if an unmarried biological father does not attempt to establish paternity, he is not free from his child support obligations. If the mother files a Petition to Establish Paternity, then she has the right to request child support for twenty four (24) months prior to the date the petition was filed, as well as costs and attorneys' fees.