Even after paternity has been established, it is possible to disestablish paternity and terminate any further obligation to pay child support once such a judgment disestablishing paternity is entered by the Court, if the person found to be the father is not, in fact, the biological father of the child. This type of action, to disestablish paternity, is brought based upon Section 742.18, Florida Statutes, which lays out a the requirements necessary to do so. If paternity is disestablished under this statute, then the mother may no longer be able to receive child support. The child’s birth certificate may also be changed.
In order to disestablish paternity, the person seeking to do so must:
The statute provides that a Court should grant the disestablishment if the Court finds the following to be true:
A Court may not grant the disestablishment petition if the Court finds that the person who filed the petition engaged in the following conduct after learning that he is not the biological father of the child:
If the disestablishment is granted, then the Court may only grant relief in the future. The male’s previous status as father continues to be in existence until the Order granting relief is entered, and all previous lawful actions taken based on reliance on that status are confirmed retroactively but not prospectively. Further, the statute allowing disestablishment will not be construed to create a cause of action to recover child support that was previously paid.
If you are thinking about trying to disestablish paternity regarding a child, or if the other parent of your child is trying to do so, you need the help of an experienced family law lawyer. Contact us today for a consutlation to see how we can help.
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