A. Pursuant to Florida Chapter 742, who may lawfully establish paternity to a child through legal action? Identify your legal authority and fully explain your response.
Pursuant to Florida Chapter 742, the individual who can establish paternity to a child lawfully is not dependent upon the fact that he is the biological father. Thus, paternity in this case is not related to the biology or genetics of the man and the child in question. Legally, Jack is the presumptive father of child that Mary had during their separation. This is because they were not legally divorced thus Jack still has the legal paternal responsibility to the child according to chapter 742. The chapter stipulates that the child belongs to the man whom the wife is married to at the date of the child’s birth. Thus, sine both are still legally united in marriage, under the law Jack is the father of the child that Mary has and legally he should accomplish all responsibilities as a father to the child. Furthermore, the biological father can seek a determination of paternity where there is a legitimate interest in such determination. This can be that the putative father has standing to seek a declaratory judgment that he has the paternal rights to the child.
B. Are any or all of the children legitimate children within the eyes of the law? What does Privette v. Dept. say about this situation? What is the legal status of each of the children?
All the four children are legitimate and belong to Jack and Mary according to the law despite the fact that one of them is not the biological child of Jack. Either Jack or Mary can also deny the biological father to the fourth child his paternity rights since the child was born to the marriage. The Privette v. Dept details that in case of such a situation then the outcome is advantageous to the children and it provide the way in which responsibility to the child is shifted from the marital father to the biological father. Therefore, by law the children belong to Jack and he is considered to be the father.
C. If Mary and Jack reconcile and save their marriage, could the biological father of the fourth child sue Mary and Jack to establish paternity of that child?
The biological father of the baby that Mary had during the separation cannot sue the couple if they are back together. If the marriage is saved by the two, then the biological father by law is not allowed to file a paternity action. Thus, all the four children legally belong to the couple. This is because Mary had the child while still legally married to Jack.
D. Does Florida have jurisdiction to decide custody and visitation of the children and if so, what does it mean for the court to establish parental responsibility and primary custody of the children? What factors must the court consider in deciding the child’s best interest and what does that term mean?
Presently, the law recognizes the four children as belonging to both jack and Mary. Florida, thus according to the law has jurisdiction to decide the custody if need arise and the biological father decides to ask for custody. The factors that could be considered are that if Jack does not fulfill his paternal responsibilities to the child. For the court to establish parental responsibility and primary custody, it follows the Florida statue. This states that any woman who has a child or is pregnant or any man who has reason to believe that he is the child’s father or the said child can bring proceedings in the circuit court, in chancery, to establish the paternity of the child when it has not been determined by law or otherwise
The child’s best interests are the determining factors that are actually advantageous to the child. The best interests include such factors like if they are willing to stay with Jack and also the relationship the child has already established with the biological father. The child is considered since parenting would influence their development and there whichever decisions are made should be advantageous to the child.
Statsky, W. P. (2004). Family law : the essentials. New York: Thomas/Delmar Learning.