How does a disestablishment of paternity work in Florida? This article explains the rules for alleged fathers who find out they aren't really the fathers.

Imagine a couple dating casually on and off. Both have multiple partners. The woman gets pregnant and cannot be sure who the father is, so she convinces the man with the best financial situation to sign a document that he is the father.

This means he is obliged to financially support his child, which can cost him up to $600 a month. Calculated over eighteen years, it means he totally must contribute $129,600. That’s a whole lot of money.

Three months later, he finds out that he actually isn’t the father. Now, the burden is on him to prove so. If he cannot do so, he remains obliged to financially support the child.

The 60 Vs. 90 Days Rule

If the alleged father realizes within 60 days of signing the document that he isn’t the father, he has a way out. He can rescind his acknowledgement quite easily.

If, however, he only realizes after 90 days that he isn’t the father, as in our opening example, things become more complicated and specific. In that case, Florida Statue 742.18 on the Disestablishment of Paternity governs.

Rules for Filing a Petition

In order to execute a disestablishment of paternity, the alleged father must file a petition with the court that states, among others, that there is new evidence about the actual paternity of the child. He must present scientific evidence that he is not the father, or if he doesn’t have access to such a test, he must ask the court to order a scientific test of the child’s paternity.

The father must also be current on his child support payments. He must not have married the mother, he must not have adopted the child, and he must not have signed an acknowledgement of paternity after learning that he actually was not the child’s father.

Furthermore, the child must not be conceived by artificial insemination while the alleged father was married to the mother, and the child must be younger than eighteen years old.

Termination of Financial Support for Children

Through Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540(b), “Relief from Judgment, Decrees, or Orders”, the alleged father may be relieved of his child support obligations.

Author's Bio: 

Kenneth Diaz is the editor of, the resource of Florida legal court documents and information. Find out more about legal document preparation at his site.