Yes, it is possible to have the court vacate a paternity decree after it has been entered, even if years have passed by. The remedy is found in section 742.18, Florida Statutes (2006).
This statute creates circumstances under which a male may disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation when he receives “newly discovered evidence” demonstrating that he is not the biological father of the child. Section 742.18(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2006).
The statute does not require a petitioner to prove fraud or duress when attempting to disestablish paternity. Rather, the statute clearly establishes the necessary allegations, requisite trial court findings, and conduct that would prohibit disestablishing paternity. Section 742.18(1)-(3), Fla. Stat.(2006).
The recent case of Johnston v. Johnston, 979 So2d 337 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008) sets forth a very clear explanation of the statute and how it works. I would recommend this case to anyone facing this particular situation.
For further information on this statute and possible assistance, you can contact me at www.alanburtonlaw.com.
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