Can You Disestablish Paternity in Florida?
There are times when parents are not honest or upfront with each other regarding paternity issues. For example, a woman may tell a man that he is the biological father of a child. The man may agree to pay child support as a result. Later, the woman may tell the man that he is actually not the biological father, but he is still paying child support. In this situation, does the man have any recourse?
Fortunately, the law in Florida does outline a method for challenging a finding of legal paternity. It is difficult to do this successfully, though. Below, our Tampa paternity and child custody lawyer explains how to reverse these findings.
How to Disestablish Paternity in Florida
To disestablish paternity, the alleged father must file a Petition to Disestablish Paternity with the appropriate court. As part of this filing, the legal father must also include:
- An affidavit outlining that the father has evidence that was discovered after legal paternity was originally established. Statements from the mother or DNA test results are two types of evidence used to disestablish paternity. The evidence could not have been known before paternity was first legally established.
- Results from a DNA test that indicate the man is not likely the biological father of the child, or a statement saying the man could not obtain a DNA sample from the child.
- Child support payment must be current and if payments are past due, the affidavit must provide a reason for this.
When a man has followed proper procedure according to the law, the court may approve the petition for disestablishment of paternity. The court must also find:
- The alleged father has not legally adopted the child.
- The mother did not use artificial insemination to conceive the child while she and the alleged father were married.
- The alleged father did not prevent the biological father from exercising his rights.
- The child was younger than 18 years old when the petition for disestablishment was filed.
When Will the Court Deny Petitions?
The court will not always approve petitions for disestablishing paternity. The courts may deny a petition in the following instances:
- The legal father married the mother of the child and represented himself as the biological father to others.
- The legal father signed a sworn statement stating he was the biological father.
- The legal father allowed his name to appear as the biological father on the birth certificate of the child.
- The man signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity.
- The man disregarded or ignored a notice from a state agency or the court asking him for a genetic test.
Our Paternity and Child Custody Lawyer in Tampa Can Help with Your Case
It is possible to disestablish paternity in Florida, but it is not easy. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa paternity and child custody lawyer can guide you through the process so you have the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to request a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.