What Is the Revocation of Paternity Act?

July 31, 2017

Family Law, Gordon & Hess, PLC

The Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA) allows certain parties to challenge paternity in various situations. The motion must be filed within one year of completing the Acknowledgment of Parentage form or within three years of the child’s birth.

Besides the acknowledged father (i.e. the person who completed and signed an Acknowledgment of Parentage form), RPA allows the mother, the alleged father (the person who claims to be the child’s father), or a prosecuting attorney to file the motion in certain situations.

If you are interested in filing a motion under RPA, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. Our attorneys will evaluate your case to determine if it meets the necessary criteria to obtain a judgment under RPA. If so, we will help you gather the required evidence to support your case. Call 616-272-3331 to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in Grand Rapids.

Under What Circumstances Would the Court Revoke the Acknowledgment of Parentage?

The court will only revoke the Acknowledgement of Parentage if you or your family attorney is able to present clear and convincing evidence to prove one of the following:

  • New evidence—for example, if new DNA testing of the child that was not available before the Acknowledgment of Parentage form was signed proves that the acknowledged father is not the biological father;
  • Mistake of fact—for example, if the acknowledged father and mother believed that he was the father;
  • Duress—for example, if the mother has a fatal illness and wanted to ensure that the child would be provided for if she dies;
  • Misconduct or misrepresentation—for example, if the mother knew that the acknowledged father was not the biological father and lied about it; or
  • Fraud—for example, if the mother hid the truth about the child’s paternity.

Does RPA Allow Fathers to Seek Relief from Prior Child Support Orders?

If you are the acknowledged father of a child, i.e. if you completed and signed an Acknowledgment of Parentage form after the child’s birth, and you recently discovered that you are not the child’s father, obtaining a judgment under RPA will not automatically relieve you from a prior child support order. However, you can seek relief “under applicable court rules to vacate or set aside a judgment.”

In the case Adler v. Dormio, the court ruled that obtaining a judgment under RPA allows a father to seek relief from prior child support orders under MCL 2.612.

Why Might the Court Refuse to Enter an Order Revoking an Acknowledgement of Parentage?

Pursuant to MCL 722.1443 (4), the court can refuse to enter an order revoking an Acknowledgement of Parentage based on the following factors:

  • The conduct of the presumed father (the husband of the mother);
  • The amount of time the presumed father has been aware that he might not be the biological father;
  • The facts surrounding the discovery that the presumed father might not be the biological father;
  • The relationship between the alleged father or the presumed father and the child;
  • The child’s age;
  • The potential harm to the child;
  • The disruption of the father-child relationship; and
  • Any other factor.

If you are interested in filing a motion under RPA, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. Call 616-272-3331 to discuss your case with a family attorney in Grand Rapids. If you would like to learn more about Michigan divorce law, visit USAttorneys.com.

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