Paternity comes with certain rights and responsibilities. It also makes the assumption that you are the father of the child or children and involved in their lives in a positive and meaningful way. Sometimes, however, there are situations which may benefit from the disestablishment of paternity. If you wish to contest paternity or go through the process of disestablishing paternity, you must go through the legal process.
In Florida, it is assumed that if a man and wife are married at the time of a child’s birth, the husband is also the father. In most cases, this is true. However, when this is not true and you are not the biological father, you may file a petition of disestablishing paternity. The specific steps of filing the petition depend on whether or not there is a child support order in place. You will need to submit both a sworn statement that you know you are not the biological father of the child and the results of a paternity test that is no more than 90 days old to proceed.
Disestablishing Paternity Voluntarily
There are instances when the mother knows the paternity of the child and the presumed father is not the biological father of a child. In cases such as these, it is possible to petition the courts to remove the presumed father as the biological father. This requires proof in the form of genetic testing to show there is not a biological connection. If there was a child support order in place, unless otherwise adjusted through the legal process, payments must continue and not be delinquent.
Legal Vs. Biological Father
If a DNA test proved that you are the biological father, nobody whether inside or outside the judicial system can change that. You can, however, relinquish your rights as the legal father. The other parent may also ask the courts to terminate the rights of the father as the legal parent. However, it must be in the child’s best interest to no longer have contact with the legal, biological father. This may take the help of a family attorney. A consultation with a family attorney will help you understand the likelihood of your request being granted. They will then guide you through the steps for removing legal access to the child.
Call Wagstaff and Pitelis for Your Confidential Consultation
As a family attorney, we can help you with all aspects of custody, child support, establishing and disestablishing paternity, as well as adoption. Call us today to discuss your needs at (727) 584-8182.