Sometimes paternity mistakes are made. You may have found out that your ex-wife had an affair and the child you have financially supported for several years isn't actually yours. Can you arrange to have the child support payments stopped and reimbursed? Here is all you need to know.
Chances Are Unlikely for Reimbursement
Even if you manage to get the payments stopped, the chances that the payments will be reimbursed are unlikely. This is because the money has already gone to your ex and you did it in good faith. In fact, by paying, you have said that you were legally and financially responsible for the child. If you believed you weren't, you either shouldn't have signed the paperwork or fought against the decision.
You could go through the courts to get your ex to reimburse you, but this will be a long and drawn out process. You may also find you spend more money with no results. Furthermore, you have to consider the fact that you will be taking this money away from the individual who is caring for the child you once claimed as your own.
You Will Still Need to Pay
In most states, even though you know the child isn't yours, you will still need to pay for child support. This is especially true if you have been named as the father on the birth certificate. Until you go to court and have a paternity test done to confirm you are not the father, you will have to continue to pay.
If you are on the birth certificate, you are deemed the father, whether DNA tests prove against that or not. Even if the mother is living with someone else (potentially the real father), you will still be the dad in the eyes of the law. In Florida law, even just telling others that you are the father is enough to set a support order against you.
It is possible for you to disestablish your rights as the father, but this will not help you get the money you've already paid out for the child back.
When Children Are Adopted
The only time you will find your financial responsibilities passed on is when your child is adopted. This can happen when the real father finds out he's the father or the mother remarries and her new spouse wants to take over financial responsibility. Again, this is not going to get the money you've already paid reimbursed.
State laws are currently set up in a way to protect the child, rather than the parents. Even if you find out you're not the father, you could end up still paying. Furthermore, the chances of you getting the money you've already paid out is highly unlikely.