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Establishing Paternity When an Extramarital Affair Results in a Child


Oftentimes, married people cheat on their spouses when they get caught up in the heat of the movement. Other times, people have an extramarital affair when contemplating a divorce.

Either way, things can take an unexpected turn when someone gets pregnant as the result of an extramarital affair. When a child is conceived as a result of cheating on your spouse, it can significantly complicate your impending divorce.

In addition to that, the parties may need to consider establishing the paternity of the child conceived while having an extramarital affair.

Why You Need to Establish Paternity of a Child Born as the Result of Adultery

Even when a child is born as the result of one spouse cheating on the other, there are many benefits of establishing paternity, including but not limited to:

  • Establishing paternity ensures that the child has a legal father;
  • You can protect your right to visitation or child custody;
  • It allows the child to be eligible for the father’s health and life insurance;
  • It helps establish a father-child relationship;
  • It helps doctors to know the medical history of both parents to diagnose a child’s medical conditions accurately; and
  • You will be notified about proceedings involving your child.

Unfortunately, biological fathers are less inclined to establish paternity and admit that they are the father when a child is conceived as the result of an extramarital affair. It is important to contact an Orlando paternity lawyer to determine the best course in your particular case.

How is Paternity Established When a Child is Conceived as the Result of an Extramarital Affair?

Chapter 742 of the Florida Statutes addresses multiple ways of establishing paternity depending on whether the child is born out of wedlock or when the parents are married. How paternity is established when a child is conceived as the result of an extramarital affair depends on who is the married and unmarried parent:

  1. Married man/unmarried woman. Section 742.011, Florida States, provides that any woman who is pregnant or has a child – and any man who has reason to believe that he is the biological father – may initiate paternity proceedings. If the testing shows that the married man is the father of the unmarried woman’s child, he could be ordered to support the child financially.
  2. Unmarried man/married woman. Florida law automatically presumes that the husband of the child’s mother is the father of her child, which means that he will get all legal rights for the child. If the child was conceived as the result of an extramarital affair by an unmarried man, the real father would have to establish paternity. However, doing so is more challenging because the presumed father – the married woman’s husband – refuses to consent to genetic testing.
  3. Married man/married woman. If a child is born as the result of an extramarital affair involving a man and a woman who are married to someone else, the woman’s husband will be presumed to be the father. As in the previous example, it will be difficult to establish paternity if the presumed father does not consent to DNA paternity testing or refuses to give up his parental rights.

It is advised to consult with an Orlando paternity attorney if your extramarital affair resulted in a child in any of the scenarios mentioned above. Contact our attorney at Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to determine how you can establish paternity in your particular case. Call at 407-521-7171.


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