Disestablishment of Paternity
Today, I would like to talk with you about paternity issues. I want to talk to you about a situation where a man is stuck paying for child support for a child that isn’t even his possibly until the child is 18 years old.
Imagine this. We have a couple, a young couple, and they’re together. They’re not married. The baby is born. They’re very excited. The father is at the hospital, signs the birth certificate, and it’s this wonderful, amazing, exciting time. For a year or so, they stay together. They then break up, and the mother goes to the Department of Revenue and gets child support. All along, this man believes that this is his child. Low and behold, a few months after the child support orders entered, the mother says “You know what? The kid’s not your kid and you’re not going to see this child. The child’s still not yours, but I’m going to keep taking the child support money.” There are some things that can be done about this. There is a statute under Florida law that provides a man in this particular situation with some rights, but you have to act quickly, and you have to file the proper paperwork in order to try to remedy this situation. The last thing that anyone wants to do is pay money for 16, 18 years for a child that does not belong to him.
First of all, there are many things that you must do in order to comply with this statute. It’s very technical. There is a lot of case law out there on it. One of the things you have to do is make a good, faithful effort to comply with the child support order that is already in place. You have to keep making payments. You can’t just ignore it. If you have not done that, you need to have a very good reason why you haven’t complied with the child support order. Another thing is after finding out that you’re not this child’s father or you’re potentially not the child’s father, you cannot sign anything saying “I’m the father.” You can’t sign something, or acknowledge in court that you are not the father, or that you are the father. I’m sorry. If you do that, you’ve then cemented the deal. You are the father of that child legally, and it doesn’t matter whether you are the biological child or the father. The state doesn’t care. You will be paying for this child.
Now, you also should receive the rights that go along with that, time-sharing, visitation, and things like that, but you are stuck. It’s not necessarily fair, and it’s not necessarily the right thing in anyone’s mind, but if you haven’t done the things that you need to do when you haven’t legally complied with those requirements, that is what’s going to happen to you. I would encourage you if you’re listening to this video, and you are one of these men, one of these fathers who is paying child support for a child and you have found out since beginning to pay child support for this child that the child may not be yours, contact Ayo and Iken. Make an appointment. Come in and see me, and I will discuss your rights, your responsibilities, and help you through this matter.