Revocation of Paternity
Our Revocation of Paternity Lawyer Team Will Guide and Represent You as You Seek To Revoke Paternity and its Associated Rights and Responsibilities in Michigan or Indiana.
A Revocation of Paternity Lawyer Can Guide You Through a Variety of Scenarios Involving the Establishment or Verification of Legal or Biological Fatherhood
If a man is wrongly identified as the legal father of a child, he may be obligated to pay child support for that child, even if it is not biologically his. Revoking paternity can absolve him of this financial responsibility. The man may wish to revoke paternity to avoid child support, custody, and parenting time issues related to a child that he does not believe is his. If this describes your situation, a revocation of paternity lawyer can guide you through these issues and processes.
Being wrongly identified as a father can have emotional and psychological impacts for both the man and the child. It can also affect a man’s existing family or future prospects. Revoking paternity can help to address these concerns. The Michigan Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA) provides a legal avenue for a man who is a legal father to disestablish paternity if he believes he is not the biological father.
The ROPA allows a man to file a motion to revoke paternity under specific circumstances:
- If the man was married to the child’s mother at the time of birth (presumed father), he can file a motion to revoke paternity if he has proof that he is not the biological father. This often involves genetic testing.
- If the man signed an Affidavit of Parentage (commonly abbreviated as AOP) believing he was the father but later discovers that he is not the biological father, he can seek to revoke paternity.
- If another man is identified as the biological father (and this is supported by evidence such as DNA tests), the legal father can seek to revoke his paternity.
It’s important to note that the court will always consider the interests of the child first in these cases. You should understand this process can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. At LaBre Law Office, our experienced revocation of paternity attorney team can guide you along the way.
Steps to Pursue a Revocation of Paternity
In Michigan, revoking paternity under the Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA) involves several steps:
- Consult with an Attorney: Given the complex nature of family law, the first step should be to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
- File a Motion: The individual seeking to revoke paternity must file a motion with the court. This motion needs to include all necessary information and evidence supporting the claim that he is not the biological father.
- Serve the Motion: The motion must be served to all interested parties, including the mother of the child and any presumed or alleged fathers. This ensures everyone has a chance to respond to the motion.
- Genetic Testing: In most cases, the court will order genetic testing to determine the child’s biological father. The man seeking to revoke paternity will need to submit to this testing.
- Court Hearing: A court hearing will be scheduled where all parties can present their case. The judge will review the evidence — including the genetic test information — before deciding based on the child’s interests.
- Court Order: If the judge decides in favor of the man seeking to revoke paternity, the court will issue an order revoking paternity. This order legally terminates the man’s rights and responsibilities as the father of the child.
There are strict timelines for revoking paternity under ROPA — typically within 3 years of the child’s birth or within 1 year of the order establishing paternity. Consult with an experienced family law attorney for revocation of paternity to guide you through the process and understand the potential consequences.
Understanding ROPA in Michigan
The Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA) in Michigan provides a legal framework for disestablishing paternity that was erroneously or fraudulently established, and for acknowledging the biological father. This law is significant in the realm of family law, as it addresses issues related to paternity rights like child custody or visitation and responsibilities like child support.
The Main Purposes of the Revocation of Paternity Act
- Disestablishing Paternity: ROPA allows a man who has been mistakenly identified as a child’s father — either through marriage to the mother at the time of birth or signing an acknowledgment of parentage — to challenge this presumption.
- Establishing Biological Paternity: ROPA also provides a way for the actual biological father to establish paternity if it has been wrongly attributed to another man.
Effects of the Revocation of Paternity Act
- Legal Rights and Responsibilities: If paternity is revoked under ROPA, the wrongly-named father is relieved of all legal rights and responsibilities, including child support. Conversely, if biological paternity is established, the biological father assumes these rights and responsibilities.
- Child’s Interests: The Revocation of Paternity Act always considers the interests of the child. Consequently, the court may decide it is in the child’s interest to maintain the legal relationship even if a man proves he is not the biological father.
Implications of ROPA Regarding Correction of Fraud or Mistakes Concerning Legal Paternity in Michigan
ROPA has significant implications for legal paternity in Michigan. It provides a mechanism to correct mistakes or fraud in paternity establishment, ensuring that the correct individuals are held legally responsible for a child. It also highlights the importance of promptly addressing paternity concerns, given the strict timelines for filing a motion under ROPA.
This generally promotes circumstances in which parentage is determined while a child remains very young, whereas addressing these concerns or conflicts when a child is older may serve to disturb or negatively affect their family experience, home life, or identity.
How DNA Testing Can Affect Establishment or Revocation of Paternity
Genetic testing plays a crucial role in revocation of paternity cases, providing scientific evidence of the biological relationship between a man and a child. Here’s how it can affect revocation of paternity:
- Establishing Non-Paternity: In cases where a man believes he is not the biological father of a child for whom he has been established as the legal father, DNA testing can provide definitive proof of non-paternity. If the DNA test shows that he is not the biological father, it can serve as strong evidence in his motion to revoke paternity.
- Contesting Paternity Claims: If a man is alleged to be the father of a child and he disputes this claim, a DNA test can help to disprove the allegation. If the test shows no genetic match, this can help prevent the establishment of legal paternity.
- Establishing Biological Paternity: If another man believes he is the biological father of a child, a DNA test can provide the evidence needed to establish his paternity and potentially revoke the legal father’s paternity.
Though DNA testing can provide strong evidence in these cases, the court will also consider other factors in its decision, including the interests of the child. The court may consider the relationship between the child and the presumed father, the potential disruption to the child’s life, and other relevant factors.
If You Learn a Child Presumed To Be Yours Is Not Your Biological Child
There are several steps to address the situation if you’re presumed to be the father of a child who is not biologically yours in Michigan:
- Consult with a Family Law Attorney: It is vital to seek advice from a family law attorney to assess and plan for the many complexities of a revocation of paternity case. Your lawyer can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
- Gather Evidence: Prepare all necessary evidence that supports your claim. This could include DNA test information, proof of non-relationship, or any other relevant documentation.
- File a Motion: Depending on your specific situation, you’ll need to file a motion to disestablish paternity in court under the Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA). This motion needs to detail why you believe you’re not the biological father.
- Undergo Genetic Testing: If the court finds your motion credible, they may order a genetic test to confirm whether you are the biological father.
- Attend Court Hearings: After filing the motion and undergoing genetic testing, you will need to attend court hearings where a judge will consider the evidence and make a decision based on the interests of the child.
There are strict timelines for challenging paternity under ROPA, so it is crucial to act promptly. Because the court always considers the interests of the child in these cases, the court might decide it is in the child’s interest to maintain the established legal relationship despite your clear proof of non-paternity.
If You Learn a Child is Yours & You Want To Be Legally Recognized as The Father to Raise Your Child
If you believe you are the biological father of a child in Michigan and you want to be legally recognized as the father, you will need to take the following steps:
- Consult with a Family Law Attorney: An experienced attorney can guide you through the complex processes of a paternity case, ensuring that you understand your rights and responsibilities while helping you make informed decisions.
- Establish Paternity: If you are not married to the child’s mother, you’ll need to establish paternity. This can be done voluntarily with the mother’s agreement by signing an Affidavit of Parentage (AOP). If the mother disagrees, you may need to file a paternity case in court.
- DNA Testing: Be prepared to undergo DNA testing to confirm your biological relationship with the child. The court may order this test if there is a dispute about paternity.
- File a Petition: If the mother disputes your claim or if another man is presumed to be the father, you may need to file a petition to establish paternity under the Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA).
- Attend Court Hearings: After filing the petition, you’ll need to attend court hearings where a judge will consider the evidence. If the DNA test confirms you’re the biological father and it’s in the interest of the child, the court can issue an order establishing you as the legal father.
- Custody and Parenting Time: Once paternity is established, you can also petition the court for custody or parenting time. In Michigan, both parents have equal rights to custody unless the court determines otherwise.
What To Do If You Are The Mother and You Suspect The Presumed Father Is Not The Biological Father of Your Child
It can be a stressful situation being the mother of a child whose paternity is in question. You know this question will likely only have a deeper effect on your child if it is not resolved while the child is very young, but you may also be weighing the implications of learning one man or another is the biological father. While every case is unique, your attorney can guide you through an assessment of the pertinent factors to inform wise choices while also helping you to navigate the legal processes. Understand that the court will also seek to make the right decisions based on the interests of your child.
A mother in Michigan who believes the legally presumed father of her child is not the biological father should take the following steps:
- Consult with a Family Law Attorney: Paternity issues can be complex, and the legal implications are significant. A family law attorney can provide guidance throughout the process.
- Gather Evidence: Collect any evidence that supports your belief that the presumed father is not the biological father. This could include information about when the child was conceived and what men may potentially be the biological father based on interactions during that general range of time. Indicate to your attorney if you believe a particular man is the biological father.
- Contact the Biological Father: If possible and appropriate, contact the man you believe to be the biological father. He may be willing to undergo a DNA test voluntarily, and/or he may even acknowledge paternity.
- File a Motion: If the presumed father or alleged biological father disputes your claim, you may need to file a motion under the Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA) to disestablish the paternity of the presumed father and establish the paternity of the biological father.
- DNA Testing: Be prepared for the court to order a DNA test to confirm the biological father of the child.
- Attend Court Hearings: After filing the motion and undergoing DNA testing, you will need to attend court hearings. The judge will consider the evidence — including DNA test information — before making a decision based on the interests of the child.
The court always considers the interests of the child in these cases. Even if the DNA proof of paternity shows another man as the biological father, it is possible the court may decide it is in the child’s interest to maintain the established legal relationship with the presumed father.
Indiana’s Revocation of Paternity Terms are Broader and Not as Restrictive as in Michigan
The process for revoking paternity in Indiana differs from Michigan in several ways. While both states value the interests of the child, the legal mechanisms and procedures have unique aspects:
- Statutory Framework: Unlike Michigan, which has a specific Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA), Indiana does not have a standalone act for revoking paternity. Instead, it falls under the general Indiana paternity laws and is addressed through filing a petition to rescind the paternity affidavit or challenging the paternity order.
- Time Frame: Indiana law allows a man to rescind a paternity affidavit within 60 days of signing it. After this period, he may only challenge the affidavit or order on the grounds of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact within two years.
The following are the steps for revoking paternity in Indiana:
- Consult with an Attorney: Discuss the unique details of your case, including your concerns, your goals, and pertinent evidence for or against paternity.
- File a Petition: If you’re within the 60-day period after signing a paternity affidavit in Indiana, you can file a petition to rescind the affidavit. Outside this window, you can file a petition to set aside the paternity order, but you’ll need to demonstrate fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.
- Serve the Petition: The petition must be served to all interested parties, including the mother of the child and any other potential fathers. Your attorney will guide you through this process.
- Genetic Testing: The court may order genetic testing to determine the biological father of the child. You will need to submit to this testing.
- Court Hearing: A court hearing will be scheduled where all parties can present their case. The judge will review the evidence — including the genetic test information — before making a decision based on the interests of the child.
- Court Order: If the judge decides in your favor, the court will issue an order revoking paternity. This order legally terminates your rights and responsibilities as the father of the child.
Revoking paternity can have profound impacts on all involved, especially the child. You should consider all factors and implications before proceeding. At LaBre Law Office, we are licensed and experienced in both Michigan and Indiana to assist you with family law cases involving the establishment or revocation of paternity.
Contact LaBre Law Office to Discuss Your Unique Revocation of Paternity Case and Begin Planning Your Strategy
The Revocation of Paternity Act significantly affects processes involving paternity in Michigan, providing direction when paternity is contested or requires verification. Perhaps you seek to revoke paternity established by marriage, or maybe other circumstances have caused the biological or legal paternity of a child to be in question. Our revocation of paternity lawyer team is prepared to serve you throughout the “Michiana” area, as we are licensed on both sides of the Michigan-Indiana border.
At LaBre Law Office, our experienced team understands how much rides on questions and answers involving paternity, and we are committed to helping our clients and their families as they establish firm foundations in our community for a happy and stable future.
Contact LaBre Law Office today to schedule a consultation. We will discuss your unique situation and determine your next steps toward establishing or revoking paternity.
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