Establishing and Disestablishing Paternity

Establishing and Disestablishing Paternity

In Florida, there are 5 ways to establish paternity of a child.  If you are married to the mother at the time that the child is born, you are presumed to be the legal father of that child.  If you are unmarried at the time that the child is born, you can acknowledge paternity of the child at the hospital when the child is born.  A genetic test can be ordered by the court.  If that test establishes that you are the father of the child, paternity will be ordered.  A Judge can also order paternity in court, and finally, if the mother and the father marry after the child is born, they can update the birth record through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.

Only a man may disestablish paternity in Florida if he is not the biological father of a child.  The process must be done through the court system, and can be complex.  A Petition must be filed with the court, along with an affidavit stating that newly discovered evidence relating to the paternity of the child has come to your knowledge since the initial paternity determination, or the establishment of child support was entered.  A scientific test proving that you are not the father must be completed and an affidavit regarding the status of child support must be filed.

If every step is completed properly, the court may order the disestablishment of paternity. However, there are many things that you could inadvertently do that will prevent the court from ordering disestablishment of paternity.

If you need representation to establish or disestablish paternity, please contact The Wheelock Law Firm in Dr. Phillips, Orlando, Florida at 407-648-5742 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Family Law Blog