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Supreme Court to hear case clarifying application of RPA

In 2012, the state of Michigan passed a law called the Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA) which, among other things, sought to broaden the rights of men who had fathered children with married women. The law was notable for a provision which allowed an alleged father of a child with a presumed legal father to file a paternity action in certain circumstances.

Because the law is still relatively new, there is understandably still debate about how its various provisions should be applied. That is why it isn't surprising that the Supreme Court agreed to hear a custody case from Macomb County involving the issue of whether the ex-husband of a woman who had a child with another man during the marriage should be able to retain his parental rights. 

In this case, the woman had the child in May 2011, when the couple was still married. They divorced in February 2013, and the ex-husband was awarded visitation rights. The mother, who later married the biological father, eventually tried to dissolve her ex-husband’s parental rights.

The Supreme Court will be looking at several issues in the case, particularly whether the biological father is the “presumed father” within the meaning of the RPA, whether the divorce judgment prevents the mother from questioning whether the child was born “out of wedlock” under the RPA, and whether the man’s determination as the father in the divorce makes it unnecessary to determine the identity of the child’s father.

In a future post, we’ll take a further look at this issue, particularly at some of the provisions of the RPA as they may relate to this case.

Source: Macomb Daily, “State Supreme Court agrees to hear Macomb County custody case,” Jameson Cook, Dec. 12, 2014. 

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Supreme Court to hear case clarifying application of RPA | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC