After Paternity Acknowledgment, Can You Petition for a Paternity Test?

Florida family law generally presumes that a child born during a marriage is the biological child of the husband. For children who are born out of wedlock, however, paternity must be acknowledged in an affidavit executed by parties presenting themselves as the child’s biological parents. After being acknowledged, the child and his parents are entitled to certain rights such as support and parenting time.

Paternity Test of Child Born Out of Wedlock

Occasionally, complicated family situations can arise, raising legal issues of paternity, particularly when a child previously born out of wedlock is acknowledged by one man while another man seeks to be recognized as the biological father. While a paternity test can easily settle the factual issue of paternity, the court must first decide whether to issue an order for paternity testing following existing Florida statute on establishing paternity.

Paternity Test Results vs. Paternity Acknowledgment

In a recent paternity case, a mother and her future husband executed an affidavit acknowledging paternity of a child who was born out of wedlock. The affidavit of paternity clearly stated that the signatories are the natural parents of the child and that the father agreed that he was the biological father of the child. The form for the acknowledgment also contained a warning not to sign the Affidavit if one is not sure that he is the child’s father. The signatories eventually got married and the husband treated the child as his own.

The mother’s last ex-boyfriend before giving birth filed a claim of paternity with the Florida Putative Father Registry. The claim was withdrawn but later refiled after the child’s mother divorced her husband. The trial court initially allowed the ex-boyfriend and the child to undergo a paternity test. When the paternity test results showed a 99.99% probability that he was the child’s father, the mother’s ex-husband filed a motion to nullify the paternity test results.

The ex-husband contended that the paternity test should be set aside, considering that his paternity acknowledgment created a presumption of paternity in his favor. But on appeal, the court said that the presumption cannot arise from a false affidavit where the parties knew at the time that the acknowledging father was not the child’s biological parent. The appellate court ordered the trial court to accept the paternity test results and continue with its determination of the issues before it.

Paternity cases are highly complex proceedings where relevant sections of the Florida Statute and applicable case law apply. If you are facing a paternity suit or have been denied access to a biological child whom you have not yet acknowledged, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced Florida paternity attorney.

Contact the Anton Legal Group

In Florida, the family law attorneys at the Anton Legal Group have years of experience in a wide range of cases involving children such as paternity, child custody, and child support. We invite you to call us today at (813) 443-5249 to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys.