What is Disestablishment of Paternity?

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The Florida Disestablish of Paternity or Termination of Child Support Obligation statute allows a male to disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation when that male is not the biological father of the child.

Steps to disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation:

1. The male must file a petition in the circuit court that has jurisdiction over the child support obligation.

2. The petition must be served on the mother or other legal guardian or custodian of the child.

3. If no circuit court has jurisdiction over the child support obligation (i.e., the obligation has been determined administratively and not ratified by a court) then the petition must be filed where the mother or legal guardian or custodian resides.

a. This petition must be served on the Department of Revenue (DOR) and on the mother or other legal guardian or custodian.

4. The petition may be filed where the male resides if the mother or other legal guardian or custodian no longer resides in the state.

A critical element of the petition is that is must be supported by an affidavit, usually attached to the petition, that states the father has come across evidence relating to the paternity of the child in question since the initial establishment of paternity or establishment of a child support obligation. Thus, the question of paternity cannot be baseless, it must be well-founded.

Males, who no longer believe they are the father of a child and are financially obligated to that child, should contact a family law attorney to discuss disestablishing paternity and reverse any child support order that is presently in effect.