Can a Married Man Prove That He Is Not the Father of His Wife’s Child?
Disestablishing paternity is always tricky, especially in the state of Florida. Under Florida’s family law, a child born during a marriage is automatically presumed to be the child of the married couple.
But what can you do if you are a married man who is not the biological father to your wife’s child? If you discovered that a child is not yours, it is vital to speak with a skilled Orlando paternity lawyer to disestablish paternity to discuss ways to overcome the state’s presumption of legitimacy.
Disestablishing Paternity in Florida and the ‘Clear and Convincing’ Requirement
In Florida, the presumption of legitimacy is designed to protect a child’s welfare and is based on the child’s best interest. Thus, it can be difficult to overcome the presumption unless you have “clear and convincing” evidence to prove that disestablishing paternity would be in the best interest of the child.
There are specific guidelines to meet the “clear and convincing” requirement when disestablishing paternity in the state of Florida.
How to Prove That You Are Not the Biological Father?
In Florida, a married man has a right to petition the court to disestablish paternity. The legal father – the husband to the biological mother at the time of the childbirth – can win his disestablishment of paternity case if he can prove the following elements:
- There has been newly discovered evidence regarding paternity. The new information was not known to the legal father (a) at the time of the birth of the child or (b) when the court issued a child support award.
- The legal father had a scientific test, and the way the test was conducted complies with the appropriate statute.
- The legal father is current on his child support obligation. If the legal father missed support payments, he would need to prove that child support was not paid due to “just cause.”
- The child was not adopted by the legal father. Florida law prohibits disestablishing paternity when a father adopts the child.
- The child was not conceived by artificial insemination while the legal parents were married. In Florida, the legal father is the man married to the biological mother of the child at the time of the childbirth. However, in the case of artificial insemination, you can still be the legal father of the child if you were married to the child’s mother at the time of conception.
- The legal father has not done anything to prevent the child’s biological father from asserting his paternal rights. If the legal father knew that the child was not his but prevented the biological father from asserting his paternal rights (e.g., by not allowing the biological parent to see the child), the court is likely to deny the legal father’s attempts to disestablish paternity.
- The child was under the age of 18 at the time of filing the petition for the disestablishment of paternity.
Trying to prove that you are not the biological father of your wife’s child can be difficult, which is why it is necessary to seek legal advice. Our Orlando paternity attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group will review your particular case and help you navigate the process of disestablishing paternity in Florida. Call our lawyers at 407-999-0099 to receive a consultation.