According to Florida legitimacy law, a child born during the marriage is presumed to be the natural 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 an illegitimate child (a child born out of wedlock), is permitted 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. However, it cannot be filed after a petition to terminate his paternal rights had been filed with the court. An unmarried biological father who wishes to maintain his paternal rights should file with the Florida Putative Father Registry.
Florida law permits the disestablishment of paternity. In other words, 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
In order to disestablish paternity, a petition must be served on the mother or other legal guardian of the child and include an affidavit (a sworn statement made by the father) that there is newly discovered evidence to prove that he is not the biological father of the child. The biological testing results showing that a man is not the father should also be attached to the petition. The father must also be up to date on any child support obligation for that specific child or provide to the Court a valid reason for being late in child support.