My Husband is not the Father of my child, what do I need to know?

When you are married to someone who is not the father of your child at the time of conception or the birth of that child, your husband is automatically, under Florida law the legal father of the child.  This is true regardless of whether or not you have added your husband or another person to the birth certificate of the child.

In order for the husband to NOT be the legal father a Petition for Disestablishment of Paternity must be filed.  For a very long time the law was clear that the person who could file this Petition was the Husband and the Husband alone. He had to WANT to disestablish paternity in order for the case to move forward. The law on this has been challenged in recent years and there is now legal precedent for the biological Father to petition the Court to disestablish he Husband’s rights and to establish himself as the legal Father instead. Having said that, this is new law and there are requirements to be met regarding the biological father’s involvement with the child and the Husband’s relationship to the child.

Usually, the Husband does not wish to continue having legal rights, and the accompanying obligations to the child that he did not biologically create. If the Husband does want these rights and obligations, the situation becomes much more complex. The situation can also be complicated if the Husband wishes to disestablish his rights.