Dissolution of any relationship can be a painful situation to encounter, but the tension can be especially thick when it involves children. If you and your long-time partner were raising a child together prior to the breakup, you expect him to pay support to help you cover subsequent expenses. What if he suddenly denies that the child is his to support?
In the state of Florida, there are many stipulations that must be present for your ex to disestablish paternity. Understanding these terms can help you gather evidence to enforce child support.
In cases of marriage, the initial establishment of paternity is automatic. However, if you and your partner were not married at the time of the child’s birth, you may have both signed a voluntary acknowledgment that named your partner as the father. This typically concludes with inclusion on the birth certificate.
Initial establishment is important. It is much more difficult for your partner to reverse an existing paternity status than one that is less official.
To pursue any argument to remove parental obligations, your ex must have received new information to support his claims. Here are some examples of evidence he may present:
- A third party with a paternity claim comes forward.
- You make comments suggesting he may not be the biological father.
- A DNA test disproves a parental match.
Your ex cannot suddenly claim that he is not the father without a valid reason. If he does have legitimate grounds to take this step, there are still significant criteria he must meet.
If your ex did not present DNA proof as new evidence, he must be willing to do so now. A court can order access to the child to execute this step. If the paternity test proves he is not the biological father, you may still have recourse to demand child support if he signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity at some point.
Should your ex be behind on existing child support payments, without a verifiable reason, his claim to disestablish paternity likely will not pass. He also cannot represent himself as the father once DNA testing proves otherwise. As the mother, you still have options to receive the support you need to comfortably raise your child.