Paternity

According to Florida law, a child born during the marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband and the husband’s name shall be listed on the child’s birth certificate, unless another individual has been determined to be the father. A husband or a wife may contest paternity of a child born during a marriage, but must overcome the presumption of legitimacy.

Any woman who is pregnant or any man who has reason to believe he is the father of a minor child may file a paternity action if paternity of that child has not already been established by the Court. In any case to establish paternity, the court may require the child, the mother and the alleged father to submit to scientific DNA tests.

A determination of paternity for a child born out of wedlock will typically include a requirement for the father to pay child support and provide the father with time-sharing rights.

A man who believes he is the biological father of a child born out of wedlock is allowed to claim paternity of the child by filing with the Florida Putative Father Registry. This claim of paternity may be filed at any time prior to the child’s birth. An unmarried biological father who wishes to maintain his paternal rights should file with the Florida Putative Father Registry immediately.

Florida law permits the disestablishment of paternity. If a man who was previously found by a Court to be the father of a child and ordered to pay child support learns that he is not the natural father, he can file a petition with the Court to disestablish paternity, thereby terminating his obligation to pay child support. A disestablishment of paternity will also terminate any rights to the child, including any time sharing that was previously granted.