Can you end your parental responsibilities if you aren’t the dad?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2022 | Paternity |

It is probably every man’s worst nightmare. After years of a relationship, the mother of their child tells him that she had been unfaithful and the child was definitely not his. That bombshell announcement could devastate the father and permanently alter his relationship with not just the mother but also the child involved.

Sometimes, fathers have suspicions because of the timing of someone’s birth or the appearance of a child that he may not be the biological father. When he separates from or divorces the mother, he may want to validate paternity.

Can you potentially end your parental responsibilities if you are not the biological father of a child?

Yes, Florida does allow you to de-establish paternity

Genetic tests are an important tool to help a father prove his relationship with a child or a mother hold an unwilling father accountable for a child’s financial needs. In some cases, genetic paternity testing can confirm someone’s worst suspicions and show that he is not in fact the father of the child.

If you have reliable tests showing that you are not the father or affirming someone else’s paternity, you may be able to file a hearing in the Florida family courts to end any formal parental obligations you already have, such as child support.

However, taking this step may mean that you no longer have visitation rights or parenting time, and your ex made deny you access to the child. Regardless of the biological component, you still have a relationship that may be valuable to both of you to consider when thinking about paternity. Learning more about the Florida law governing paternity can help you make good decisions for yourself and your family.