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  1. #1
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    Default Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Washington


    (Yes, I'm a third party in this - not my dog in the fight, but it is for someone very close to me)


    Child born 2006, unwed Mom and Q sign paternity acknowledgement, allowing him to be on child's BC. All lived together for 8 months until they break up, no child support established.

    Mom has brief one-minute stand with Bloke during the possible window of conception but neither thinks anything of it.

    Several years later (2010) she meets up with Bloke for the first time since the encounter and they marry. They inform everyone that they did a home paternity test and Bloke is actually the father. Shortly thereafter (ie, months) they separate, and now Bloke wants visitation. Nothing was done to challenge paternity and he did not adopt the child. Mom recently filed a dissolution (no children), and he has not seen the child in several months. All in all they lived together for about 7 months.

    I've poured through the RCW, and this is what I'm seeing: He's time-barred from acting upon anything.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.26.540 : Does not apply since (1) he was not a signatory and (2) it has been more than 4 years since the acknowledgement was signed.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.26.530 : Does not apply since (1) It has been longer than four years and (2) does not apply because a) Mom & Q were intimate during that time and b) Q held the child to be his own. 530 also does not apply because Q was not the presumed father; RCW does differentiate between presumed and acknowledged.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.26.335 : Does not apply since it has been longer than 4 years and he was not a signatory.

    And Page 13 of this


    So far, Bloke has spoken with an attorney who requested that Mom submit to the attorney a parenting plan. She has so far refused since Bloke is not a parent to the child.

    Am I missing something glaringly obvious here? The statute seems to say quite definitively that Bloke's ship sailed quite some time ago - correct?


    Thank you my friends!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Um...yeah, I didn't mean for that to become War & Peace-like. Sorry for the length.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    Mom has brief one-minute stand with Bloke
    without comment to the actual question, do you realize how bad that makes the Brits look? (we don't have blokes in the US)


    as to the actual situation, I believe you are correct BUT have you researched to determine if the actual father (bloke) can seek visitation under the grounds it being in the best interest of the child? Granted, it would appear the relationship was not all that long but....



    You, above all others, surely are aware of courts making some decisions based solely on the best interest of the child regardless of the legal relationships involved.

    the other concern I would have is; since it appears Bloke may have been within the time limit to sue to establish paternity when mom and bloke did realize the true paternity, will Washington entertain an argument that Bloke did not attempt to disestablish paternity due to promises made by mother and that essentially (and possibly fraudulently) caused Bloke to not act.


    Then, beyond that, I am presuming there is no relationship between Q and child. If true, it would appear that child never actually established a father/daughter relationship there BUT it would appear there probably is/was one with Bloke.


    While the law, held to the letter, are against him, I would wonder if the spirit of the law would allow an extension of the 4 year limitation, especially given the marriage and subsequent establishment of a parent/child relationship. Along with that, it would appear by your statements that there has been an ongoing relationship between Bloke and the child up until seven months. Who terminated that ongoing relationship? and why? Again, actions in the best interest of the child might come into play.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    WA will not allow a third party to sue for visitation in this circumstance.

    (You do so have blokes in the US - none of the guys mentioned are Brits )

    At the time when Mom and Bloke got back together, the law was different - the four year time period only became law in July of last year which was after they'd separated. Prior to that the window was only 2 years (so he'd still be too late).

    Thanks for reading through that, jk

    There was a DV incident against Mom, so she left and took kiddo with her.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  4. #4

    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    My reading concurs that Bloke is time-barred, even if the brief marriage to him may have had the effect of resetting the clock to start when he reasonably knew the child to be his. He needed to have taken steps to remedy his position as parent, which he didn't. I'd think that he'd officially remain a third party, depriving him of standing at this point.

    However, jk has good points about Bloke having been in the picture and potentially establishing a relationship with the child. Was the DV against mom from Bloke or or Q?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    (You do so have blokes in the US - none of the guys mentioned are Brits )
    Well, I guess we did have the Minute men.

    At the time when Mom and Bloke got back together, the law was different - the four year time period only became law in July of last year which was after they'd separated. Prior to that the window was only 2 years (so he'd still be too late).
    not that it helps him but often times laws are retroactive, especially in a situation where it would extend a statute of limitations such as this.

    so, the situation is:

    time barred, unless a court decides to do something outside of the written law.


    Where is Q at this time? Is he aware he is not the bio dad?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    Ah, there's the rub. Q knows he's not the bio father. That really doesn't help Bloke though, since the 4-year time limit also applies to fraud/duress/material mistake of fact (no matter who raises the issue - Mom, Q, Bloke).
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
    View Post
    Ah, there's the rub. Q knows he's not the bio father. That really doesn't help Bloke though, since the 4-year time limit also applies to fraud/duress/material mistake of fact (no matter who raises the issue - Mom, Q, Bloke).
    by the letter of the law, yes, but given the convoluted situation, if Bloke has enough money, I wouldn't bet on new law not being made.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    Bloke broke, jk.



    @Catherine - Bloke committed DV against Mom when the child was present. He pled to lesser charges though and there is still a restraining order against him.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    I think the answer is evident then. You snooze, you lose and without the money to build a time machine, or argue the circumstances should allow for the extension of the SOL, I think you are simply sol.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Establishing Paternity when There is Already a Legal Father

    I know I'm being a complete pita, and I know this is more complex than the stuff we deal with BUT...

    ..I had a thought.

    B. RCW 26.26.530
    Even if David were a presumed father so that RCW 26.26.530 applied,
    Hampson's claim was still timely.

    18 RCW 26.26.530 became effective on June 13, 2002.

    19 Before that date, there was no time limit for filing a
    parentage petition.

    20 It is well established that when the Legislature
    enacts a shortened statute of limitations, the time for bringing claims
    that accrued before the new law's enactment begins to run on the new
    statute's effective date.

    21 Hampson's claim began accruing on June 8, 2000,
    when MS was born. If the court were to apply RCW 26.26.530 to Hampson's
    claim, the claim would have expired on June 8, 2002, before the statute of
    limitations even took effect. But the new limitations period did not begin
    to run until June 13, 2002, the statute's effective date, and Hampson had
    until June 13, 2004, to file his petition. Because he filed his petition
    in May 2004, it would not have been barred by the statute of limitations

    An extended SOL starts when - from the date it became law?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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