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Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, P.A
 
I am not the biological father…what are my options?

I am not the biological father…what are my options?

Under some circumstances, paternity and child support may be established before new evidence is discovered that the presumed father is not the biological father of the child. If a male who was designated the father of a child in an earlier paternity or child support matter later finds out that he is not the biological father of the child, he may be able to disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation but only under very limited circumstances established by Florida law.

Section 742.18 of the Florida Statutes provides circumstances under which a male may disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation when he is not the biological father of the child in question. The law states that the male must demonstrate that newly discovered evidence has come to his knowledge since the initial paternity determination that proves that he is not the biological father. The presumed Father must include a scientific test that proves he is not the father of the child and the test must have been administered within ninety (90) days of the date the presumed father files his Petition to Disestablish Paternity.

Men who suspect they are not the father but who do not have access to the child to have scientific testing performed may file a petition requesting the Court order the child to be tested. In order to disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation, the presumed father must be able to prove that he is current on all child support obligations for the applicable child or that he has substantially complied with his child support obligation and that any delinquency in his child support obligation for the child arose from a justified inability to pay child support.

The relief permitted under Florida law is limited to prospective child support payments and a termination of parental rights, such as custody and timesharing rights. The law does not permit a party to attempt to recover child support that was previously paid.

Additionally, a potential case to disestablish paternity or terminate child support could be significantly impacted by actions taken by the proposed father after he finds out that he is not the biological father of the child in question, such as consenting to be named as the father on the child’s biological birth certificate. To avoid making mistakes that might damage your case, seek the counsel of a competent family law attorney as soon as possible to avoid paying child support for a child who is not your biological child.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free consultation with one of our attorneys at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com.

BY: Stephanie N. Mack, Board Certified Marital & Family Law Attorney

June 12, 2012
 
 
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