Statute of Limitations for Paternity

by Michael from Florida


About 6 years ago I heard through a friend that my high school girlfriend had my baby after we broke up. I contacted her and offered to take responsibility for the child.


She told me it wasn't true. She said the child is not mine and she only said that because she and her current husband were splitting up and she knew I could offer the kid good benefits since I'm in the army now.

Six more years pass and I am now married and have 2 kids with my wife. All of a sudden one night we get a phone call from a kid who says he's my son.

He is 12 years old and my ex girlfriend decided to tell him I am his real father. What responsibility do I have to this kid?

I certainly can't afford to pay child support when I am supporting my own family. And I have no emotional ties to this child.

Does the fact that his mother lied to me and said the kid is not mine and then waited 12 years to say that he is, have any bearing on where my responsibility ends? Thank you, Michael.

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Michael,

Wow. It is unclear whether you have any parental responsibilities for this kid.

If the child was born to your ex girlfriend while she was married to her husband, then he is lawfully responsible.

The law does provide for the disestablishment of paternity by him, but the fact that so much time has elapsed, I doubt a court would allow for this.

The circumstances here are very complicated, so my best suggestion is to seek legal advice especially if your ex girlfriend files any paperwork in court.

Otherwise, your question is more a moral one than a procedural one. Some questions you might want to consider for yourself are:

* If the kid is mine, do I want to establish a relationship?

* Do I want to pursue getting a DNA test to make sure I am the father?

* If I go this route, do I really want to establish my paternity as I may have to start paying for child support?

I know your questions have not been answered but I don't think there is a court form in existence that can solve this for you. Only your heart and a good attorney will be able to help you here.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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