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Disestablishing paternity in Florida

There are many reasons that a mother or father of a child would want to establish legal paternity of a child. The father may be seeking a substantive role in the child's upbringing, or the mother may require child support from the father.

Florida offers several paths to establishing paternity, from being married to the mother at the child's birth to filing for a court decision. If a legal father finds that he is not the biological father, there is a possible route to disestablishing paternity as well.

The legal father must file a petition to disestablish paternity that strictly complies with the appropriate Florida statutes. The circuit court that has jurisdiction over the case must be the one that processes the petition. Legal representation is a helpful step in filing the right paperwork and increasing the chances of its success.

The petition will require certain specific parts. One is a sworn statement that the legal father has discovered new evidence that he is not the biological father since taking responsibility for the child. This information must have been acquired since that time.

A DNA test that shows the legal father is probably not the biological father must also be submitted, along with a sworn statement that the test could not have been performed since the paternity became legal.

Any child support payment must be up to date, and any past due payments must be explained to the court. The court may also seek proof that the legal father did not adopt the child. The complexity of this process may be daunting, but the right counsel can help negotiate these risks.

Source: Plant City Observer, "How to Disestablish Paternity in Florida," Shiobhan Olivero, accessed Sep. 19, 2017

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