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Florida Law: Disestablishing Paternity As A Married Man

In Florida, a married guy is assumed to be the legal father of their spouse’s kid. As a result, parental rights and obligations are effective immediately. It is possible for a man to disestablish paternity if he discovers later that he is not the child’s biological father, although this is not guaranteed.

It might be challenging to disprove paternity. There are particular steps that must be taken. A married man cannot disestablish paternity just because a test indicates he is not the biological father.

Florida Law: The Standard for Disestablishing Paternity

Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 742.18), If a married man is not the biological father and he can meet all other requirements, a married man may disestablish paternity and end parental responsibilities. A married man who wants to disestablish paternity must generally prove or furnish the following three things:

  1. A Scientific Test: There must be a recent, reliable, professionally executed, and valid scientific test proving the man is not the child’s biological father.
  2. New Evidence: Disestablishing paternity can only be done if “new evidence” is presented. A person cannot change their mind after accepting the role of legal father despite being aware that they were not the child’s biological father. New proof is necessary.
  3. Eligibility Under State Law: The person must ultimately demonstrate his eligibility to disestablish paternity under Florida law. A man may lose his ability to file a disestablishment claim due to previous behavior. For instance, a married man can be disqualified if he previously attempted to prevent the true biological father from claiming parental rights.

These cases are extremely time-sensitive. A Florida court may decline to hear a claim if a guy waits too long to take action. A man must file a sworn declaration stating that he learned new information proving he was not the child’s biological father in order to start a disestablishment of paternity action.

Parental Rights and Responsibilities Will Terminate in the Event of Disestablished Paternity

It is crucial to stress the consequences of denying paternity. This is no easy task. According to Florida law, a male who renounces paternity forfeits all of his parental privileges. It functions both ways. The male has lost his right to ask for custody or visitation, and he can no longer be forced to pay child support. The relationship with the child has officially ended.

Charles Shafer has helped many families throughout Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. He will fight for your rights. Mr. Shafer understands how difficult disestablishing paternity can be and has the experience to help you navigate all the legal challenges. Let him use his 35 years of experience as a family lawyer to handle your case.

Charles Shafer, Attorney at Law, PLLC represents clients throughout the Treasure Coast and beyond, including Ft. Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Vero Beach, Okeechobee, Fellsmere and Sabastian. Call (772) 467-2601 to schedule a consultation.

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About the Author

Criminal Defense & Family Law Attorney, Charles Shafer helps clients facing criminal charges and family law issues throughout the state of FL. Call NOW for a Free* Initial Consultation