Revoking Paternity - Who Knew What and When Matters!

Case Discussed:

Kalin v. Fleming

MiLW No. 07-96227

Miichigan Court of Appeals - Unpublished Case

An unmarried couple have a child while in an on-again off-again relationship. The relationship ends, and the mother wants to revoke the paternity of the father, which was established when he signed an Affidavit of Paternity at the child's birth.

During the break-up, the mother tells the father that he is not the biological father of the child. The mother later claims that the father's lack of knowledge that he was not the biological father of the child is the 'mistake' of fact necessary for the revocation of paternity to occur after the 3 year deadline to file had passed.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the mother could not claim mistake of fact - she knew perfectly well that her former partner wasn't actually the biological father of her child. Rather, the Court found that only the biological father could have invoked that mistake of fact argument.

What to take away from this case?

The law can seem complicated, but the take away is simple. If you are unmarried, have kids and are thinking about contesting paternity, you should act within 3 years.

If you've missed the deadline to file for revocation of paternity, you'll need to allege proper grounds for an extension of time.

If you're asking for an extension of time, you must have personally experienced one of the applicable factors. You cannot allege that the opposing party's mistake of fact is sufficient grounds to be granted an extension of time.

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