The COA issues perplexing published decision in Revocation of Paternity Act case | Speaker Law
phone icon email icon
(517) 482-8933

Speaker Law
Blog

The COA issues perplexing published decision in Revocation of Paternity Act case

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018

The Court of Appeals issued a real head scratcher today in Helton v Beaman. Bascially, the majority says that there is not best interests analysis when there is a revocation of an acknowledgement of paternity, relying on Moiles. But then the court goes on to say that the court can look at other factors and turns to the child custody act. First, it applies the change of circumstances/proper cause analysis to whether paternity should be revoked (to the extent that it will upset the established custodial environment of the child). Then it turns to the best interests factors in the child custody act, even though the opinion acknowledged that not even the best interests factors in ROPA apply. So at the end of the day, the COA affirmed the trial court’s decision which declined to set aside the acknowledgment of parentage. The concurring opinion by Kirsten Frank Kelly is pretty solid, in my humble opinion. It disagrees with Moiles and says that a conflict panel should be convened. The concurring opinion reasons that the best interests of the child from ROPA are to be applied in all revocation cases, including from a revocation of an acknowledgment of parentage. The concurrence explains why an acknowledgment of parentage is a paternity determination because it establishes paternity and makes the man who signs the affidavit of parentage the legal father of the child. The concurrence also provides a constitutional reason as to why the best interests from ROPA should apply. The dissenting opinion basically agrees with Moiles that the best interests factors do not apply to revocation of acknowledgment of parentage cases. The reasoning turns on the fact that ROPA's best interests section says it applies to "paternity determinations" and the dissent's opinion that an acknowledgment of parentage is not a paternity determination because it does not involve a finding by a court.

Do you have an appeal?
Let's find out!

Recent
Posts

Trial Court Erroneously Ordered Child’s Surname Be Changed
May 27, 2020
A trial court improperly held that the surname of a child born out ...
MSC: Consent Divorce Judgment Preempted By Federal Law
May 20, 2020
A consent judgment of divorce under which the parties agreed that t...
Surviving Spouse Was Not ‘Willfully Absent’ During Divorce Proceedings
May 13, 2020
The defendant, Anne Jones-Von Greiff, was married to the decedent, ...
Trial Court Penalized Parent For Working Outside Home: Custody Order Must Be Reassessed
May 6, 2020
The trial court in this custody action erroneously discounted the r...

Tags

 

Subscribe to our blog

* indicates required