Biological Fathers and Standing-Putative biological father can establish standing to challenge paternity and assert paternal rights by demonstrating that he has shown a substantial and continuing concern for the welfare of the children

M.L.H. v. Dep’t of Children & Families, 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 10935, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D 1782, 2018 WL 3672945 (Fla. 2d DCA Aug. 3, 2018). The trial court erred in holding that, as a matter of law, the biological father lacked standing to assert his paternal rights based on the presumption of legitimacy […]

Statute of Repose and Standing-Appeal barred by statute of repose and dismissed where biological father was not a legal parent, was not a party to the adoption below and had no standing to challenge the adoption judgment

J.G. v. State, — So.3d —- (2018) Biological father who was active in lives of his children and was participant in TPR proceedings against mother and legal father, yet failed to take steps to obtain legal parental rights, lacked standing to bring appeal of adoption order. In order adjudicating children dependent, the trial court found […]

STANDING TO CHALLENGE PATERNITY-section 742.18, Fla. Stat. (2017) does not preclude an individual from challenging a paternity determination pursuant to section 742.10(4).

In Interest of Y.R-P., — So.3d —- (2017) In a pending dependency proceeding with competing paternity claims, O.R., the biological father, filed a motion to disestablish paternity for J.R.-P., the purported father who was named as father on birth certificate. The trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on O.R.’s motion where both DCF and the […]

DISESTABLISHINIG PATERNITY, PRIVETTE AND CHAPTER 742.18-Privette best interest inquiry applies only in contested cases where a child faces the threat of being declared illegitimate, and the legal father faces the threat of losing parental rights which he seeks to maintain. Section 742.18 of the Florida Statutes provides a mechanism by which a man may disestablish his paternity without the requirement that another putative father is willing to establish paternity.

L.G. v. Department of Children and Families, 227 So.3d 653 (2017) L.G. was never married to the mother, but he acknowledged paternity on the child’s birth certificate. During the dependency proceedings, L.G. petitioned to disestablish paternity based on newly discovered evidence-namely, a recent DNA test showing that he was not the biological father of the […]

Paternity: Biological Father of Child Born to Intact Marriage Has Extremely Limited Rights and a “Casual Interest in Fatherhood” Found Insufficient To Trigger Constitutional Protection

M.L. v. Department of Children and Families, 2017WL1718807 (Fla. 4th DCA) The putative father filed a motion to intervene in a TPR proceeding where child was born into an existing marriage. Although the putative father was named on the child’s birth certificate and he was present at the shelter hearing, he waited 18 months to […]

J.A.I. v. B.R., 2015 WL 404001 (Fla. 2d DCA)

J.A.I. and J.K.C. filed a petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of a trial court order requiring them and J.A.I.’s daughter to submit to genetic testing for the purpose of determining paternity. The Second District Court of Appeal (Second DCA) granted the writ finding that B.R. was precluded from challenging paternity. J.A.I. and J.K.C. […]