Can I Request a Paternity Test to Reduce the Child Support I am Ordered to Pay?

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“I just went through a divorce which my ex-spouse and I filed. At the final hearing and judgment the only thing that was changed was the amount of child support I am to pay. It was increased even after the ex and I agreed to what amount was too paid. The root of the problem is I am the biological father of the child. We decided to keep this unmentioned for the love I have for my daughter. I want to support her but I feel it is unfair the amount that has been increased. Is there anything I can do as far establishing paternity after the fact to reduce the support payment or any other recourse? This happened here in Florida and the mother and daughter now live in Missouri.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

It is likely that the Court established support by Statewide guidelines (Florida Statutes Chapter VI, Title 31, Section 61.30). The amount is the amount. If you and ex are chummy, maybe she would agree to send you a rebate each month. However you need to follow Court orders.

Once paternity is established (by marriage or declaration), there are usually pretty strict rules govening time for appeal and genetic testing. I think you are trying to say you are not the father, though if the time for appeal has passed (at least in California), you are legally obligated to continue supporting your daughter. Check with a local attorney about whether it would still be possible to open up the case and ask for a determination of parentage if you are trying to sever your rights and responsibilities with regard to your daughter. A word to the wise – don’t let your daughter or her mother know you are doing this until you are sure you are going forward because it will rock your daughter’s very foundation and likely put an impediment into your relationship with her beyond what you might expect.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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