Disestablishment of Paternity: Reasons a Petition May Be Denied under Florida Family Law


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Disestablishment of paternity is a process that usually begins when the legal father of a child, who is paying child support, learns new information relating to the paternity of the child.

For example, he may learn that the child isn't biologically his even though he had previously believed it was. When this happens, assuming certain requirements are met, a Florida family law attorney can help the father file a petition for disestablishment of paternity. If the petition is granted, the father would be relieved of his obligation to pay child support (although past payments would not be refunded).

Reasons a Petition May Be Denied Under Florida Family Law

There are several reasons the legal father's petition for disestablishment of paternity may be denied, even if he met various requirements, like providing new information and remaining current on child support payments, among others. The following are situations where the petition may be denied:

 If the legal father married the child's mother and represented himself to others as the child's father, he may be denied disestablishment.

 The petition may also be denied if the legal father previously made a sworn statement that he was the child's father.

 If the legal father allowed himself to be named on the child's birth certificate, or signed a voluntary statement of paternity, he may also be denied.

 Ignoring a court order to submit to genetic testing may also be a reason for the petition's denial.

How Do I Know If I Have A Good Case For Disestablishment?

In many cases, a petition for disestablishment may be granted if the legal father has evidence that he was mislead into believing he was the child's biological father. However, it is best to discuss the particulars of your paternity and child support concerns with a Florida family law attorney or Florida divorce lawyer to determine if filing a disestablishment petition is a good option for you. Before meeting with your lawyer, you should collect any legal paperwork you have regarding paternity and child support payments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nico Apfelbaum
Nico Apfelbaum, Esq. is the managing attorney of Apfelbaum Law, a Florida law firm serving Port St. Lucie, Stuart, the Treasure Coast and assisting clients with matters throughout Florida. Apfelbaum Law provides a wide variety of legal services, including, family law, divorces, business and contract transactions and litigation, immigration, wills and estate planning, probate law, and real estate law. The attorneys of Apfelbaum Law will answer your questions, explain your options, and provide you with the tools and resources you need to make an informed decision.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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