Paternity cases are cases to determine the biological father of a minor child, and then determine Child Support, Parental Responsibility, and Time-Sharing. Parental Responsibility and Time-Sharing are the issues that make up "custody" in Florida, and along with Child Support are basically identical in Paternity Cases as in Divorce cases. If "paternity" is contested, the court will order a dna test.
One important additional thing to remember in Paternity Cases, especially if your child was born in a State other than Florida and you want to make changes to the child's birth certificate, is to include in the court order instructions regarding changes to the birth certificate, and to be sure to get a "certified copy" of the court order. The rules for amending birth certificates are different in different states, and some require an amendment to a birth certificate to be provided for in a Court order.
Under Florida law, until there is a paternity order, the Mother is the sole legal guardian for the minor child. A police or sheriff's department will usually enforce this and require a child to be returned to his or her mother, under the threat of potential criminal charges.
As with divorce and other family law cases, I believe disputes regarding time-sharing or child support in Paternity matters, in almost all cases can best be resolved though Collaborative Family Law or Co-Mediation, rather than adversarial court battles.
Please call me at (954) 636-7498, or use the contact form, and we can discuss your Paternity case.