My Wife And I Are In The Process Of A Divorce. I Believe That One Of Our Children Is Not Mine. What Are My Legal Options In Florida?
It’s not uncommon for the issue of paternity to come up when a couple decides to divorce. If a father has questions about whether or not a child is his, he can request a DNA test to prove that he’s not the father, and then may not have to pay child support. However, in some cases men who are not the father of a child do have to pay child support for that child.
In order to prove that you are actually not the father of a child, the process is not as easy as a simple DNA test. If you were married to the mother of a child when the child was conceived or born, you are presumed to be the father of the child, and must pay child support. However, you can use a procedure in court called Disestablishment of Paternity. That procedure could result in a court order declaring you not to be the father, and you may no longer be required to support the child.
In order to disestablish paternity, you must act quickly. Also, if you are currently ordered to pay child support, you must continue paying it. You should also refuse to sign anything or write anything that will create an admission of paternity. This could hurt your case in court.
The sad truth is that it can be very hard to disestablish paternity of a child, particularly if you are or were married to the child’s mother and you at one time acknowledged that child as yours. It’s common for a man to find out later that a child is not his, but to be legally required to continue paying child support for that child.