The Florida Supreme Court in Simmonds, et.al, v. Perkins (SC17-1963) June 28, 2018. This case has huge implications. Prior to this case a child’s parentage could not be established by a putative or biological father born to a Mother married in an intact marriage. There wee public policy reason to keep intact marriage and families free from unwarranted interference. The biological father in this case was found to have standing to rebut the common law presumption that the mother’s husband is the legal father of a child born to an intact marriage- or the “presumption of legitimacy” – when he has “manifested a substantial and continuing concern” for the welfare of the child. The biological father of a child filed a petition to establish paternity, child support and timesharing. Mother moved to dismiss his petition, arguing it was barred by the common law presumption of legitimacy because she was married at the time of the child’s birth and remained married. The Circuit Court held that 4th DCA precedent required dismissal of the petition as a matter of law. The fourth DCA reversed, concluding the presumption was not applicable with these facts and the Florida Supreme Court Affirmed, holding that the presumption of legitimacy does not create an absolute bar to an action by a biological father to establish parental rights when the child’s mother was married at the time of the child’s birth and both she and her husband object to the action.
Full opinion follows: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2018/sc17-1963.pdf