Under Florida family law, when a child is born to a married couple the husband is presumed to be the child’s biological father. See Florida Statute §382.013. However, it is very common for the husband to not be the child’s father. This can occur due to separation without divorce, adultery, or other reasons. Regardless, there may be a legal way to disestablish paternity and terminate father’s rights in Florida. For assistance with how to terminate father’s rights in Florida contact a child custody lawyer in Tampa. The procedures and advise will vary based on the specifics of each case.
Terminate Father’s Rights in Florida With Rule 1.540
Generally, there are two ways to legally disestablish paternity and terminate father’s rights. The first is under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 1.540 allows a father to obtain relief from a judgment, decree or order within 1 year of its entry. For instance, this Rule may be applicable to overturning a divorce decree requiring child support to be paid. The grounds for relief under Rule 1.540 include, mistake, fraud, misrepresentation, or newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been previously discovered. Satisfying the conditions for relief under Rule 1.540 can be difficult without legal experience or training. Therefore, anyone seeking relief under Rule 1.540 should consider retaining a child custody lawyer in Tampa.
Terminate Father’s Rights in Florida Under 742.18
Florida Statute 742.18 can also provide a means to terminate father’s rights and child support. Proceeding under this law can be difficult, it is strongly recommended to retain a Tampa child custody attorney to assist you. In order to obtain relief under this statute, the father must include all of the following in the petition.
- An affidavit stating that newly discovered evidence relating to the paternity of the child has come to the petitioner’s knowledge since the initial paternity determination or establishment of a child support obligation.
- Scientific tests administered within 90 days of the petition showing the petitioner is not the father of the child. Alternatively, the petitioner can allege access to the test was not available.
- The petitioner is current or substantially complied with all child support obligations
It is important to note, including the above three elements in the petition is not enough to terminate father’s rights in Florida. The three elements above are necessary to file a valid petition, it does not guarantee success in the case. The petitioner must also prove 7 additional elements beyond a preponderance of the evidence in order to previal. For a full list of the seven elements that must be proven click here or contact a Tampa child custody attorney.
Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa
Regardless of whether you need to terminate father’s rights, are a mother seeking to obtain child support, or a father trying to gain visitation rights, Florida Law Advisers can help. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Tampa child custody attorney call us today at 800 990 7763. We are available to take your call 24/7.