Paternity Affidavit Washington by jle31578


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									STREET LAW: Paternity in Washington
— Adrian Martinez Madrone and Maya Mendoza, 2007

SOURCE: Original format with information from Northwest Justice Project Website, WA
Department of Social and Health Services website, and WA Supplement.

TIME: 50 minutes


     A. Students should understand that there are many stakeholders when asking a question of
        paternity under Washington law.

     B. Students should understand that the law chooses to protect the most innocent
        stakeholder—the child—when determining paternity and its rights and obligations.

     C. Students should feel comfortable discussing a very sensitive topic and feel like their
        peers and teachers respect their opinions and value their participation

     A. Knowledge Objective
          Learn how to establish paternity under Washington law
          Understand reasons for how the law prioritizes stakeholders in respect to paternity
          Learn what establishing paternity means for a father and a child

     B. Skill Objective
           Identify stakeholders with an interest in the law and how the law creates rights
              and/or obligations for each with respect to paternity
           Learn to listen to other viewpoints and have confidence sharing with peers
           Learn to apply paternity law to a set of facts even if it creates a tough outcome

     C. Attitude Objective
           Understand that rights that arise under paternity law have potentially serious
              consequences for all those involved
           Understand that paternity law applies to minors that engage in sex that leads to
           Learn to respect opinions and attitudes of classmates in a respectful and collegial
   A. Simulation I

    1. Remind class that this is a sensitive topic that may be very personal for some students
       who have first hand experience and so is of paramount importance that students listen
       patiently and are respectful with their comments

    2. Ask students as they arrive to participate in a role play (one male and one female
       student that you know will not be offended by the topic)

        (a) Put powerpoint on board with “Paternity in Washington” slide
            (1) At the start of class, move to the objective slide and explain what the class is
            (2) Move to the paternity/parentage definition slide and ask students what they
                think the definitions mean.

        (b) Begin class by having the male and female student run through dialogue and ask
            other students to pay close attention to what is said and by whom.

        (c) At the end of the role play, ask the participants to sit down and ask students who
            were watching what their first impressions were.
            (1) What were they talking about?
            (2) What did each of them want? Not want?
            (3) What are the important facts?
            (4) Who is right? Is someone right?
            (5) What do you think the courts would do?

    3. Debrief the role play by dividing room (based on where the students sit) into thirds
       and assign each one a different stakeholder to voice an opinion for in the role play
       (a) 1/3 of the room devoted to the interests of the female student
       (b) 1/3 of the room devoted to the interests of the male student
       (c) 1/3 of the room devoted to the interests of the State/lawmaker/judge/society
       (d) Ask the students to answer debriefing questions with their interest in mind as an
           (1) What does each party want?
           (2) What are some facts that go in your favor?
           (3) What facts do you distrust? Is someone lying?
           (4) What outcome do you want?
           (5) What outcome are you worried about?

   B. Mini Lecture about Uniform Parentage Act in Washington State

    1. Explain that the previous exercise was necessary in order to understand how
       paternity issues affect a number of different stakeholders (mother, father, child, State)
     (a) Hand out powerpoint slides and ask students to take their own notes as we go
         through the slides as a class.
     (b) Explain that WA law is constructed to protect the innocent, the child, who
         otherwise may not be able to protect their own interests and legal rights

  2. Using PowerPoint Discuss Definitions

  3. Discuss Paternity and why it is important

  4. Discuss Uniform Parentage Act and the three ways to claim paternity under
     Washington law.
     (a) Separate out the difference between establishing paternity under WA law and then
         the obligations that will flow from that.
     (b) After discussing the Act, focusing on the Paternity Affidavit and Judicial
         Determination, also discuss the outcomes
     (c) Put up slide regarding current child support schedule (if class seems interested in
         this aspect of assigning paternity).

C. Simulation II

  1. Follow same directions as above, but now that students are familiar with who the law
     protects and how the law works to establish paternity in Washington we want them to
     address a little more complicated scenario.

  2. Use “Maurice Show” script where it is not clear who the father is and have class as
     audience weigh in on what they think would happen. Divide the class in the same
     thirds from before and assign advocacy positions BEFORE the simulation begins, so
     that students can listen for specific facts: 1/3 represent Tisha; 1/3 represent George;
     1/3 represent Paul.
     (a) What should the mother do?
     (b) What should each of the suspected fathers do?
     (c) Would it be easier for the mother to go to Court via paternity determination by
         court judgment?
     (d) If going to Court, but excluding genetic test results, how should the Court rule?

D. Hypothetical: Apply WA Paternity Law (if time but probably have to assign as
   homework—designed to be credit, no credit)

  1. From WA Supplement Problem A-31.1→ distribute fact pattern
  2. Explain instructions, that we will read fact pattern together and then break up the
     class into groups and ask them each to take on either Kelly or Leon’s position in the
     case and answer the questions on the back side of the fact pattern.
  3. Break up class and have them work in groups of 4-5.
  4. Debrief by asking each group to report on their arguments
     (a) What are your best arguments?
          (b) What are some holes in your argument? What does your client want? Best case
              scenario? Acceptable outcome?
          (c) What do you think a court would decide if it went there?

    5. Explain that this is a similar fact pattern to a real case from 1984 and that the Court
       held that the only needs at issue in a paternity case are those of the child and nothing
       under the Uniform Parentage Act allows parents or suspected parents to litigate
       whether they wanted the child.
       (a) Discuss other arguments or facts that may be relevant from WA Supplement
           debrief sheet.


   A.   Participation in the class discussion after simulation(s)
   B.   Participation in the hypothetical applying WA law for paternity
   C.   Showing respect for fellow students in classroom
   D.   Hypothetical, either in class or as homework
                                         Simulation I

Tina:         Devon, I have something to tell you.

Devon (playing video game): Ok. What’s up?

T:            It’s important Devon.

D (stops playing video game): Alright, I’m listening. What’s going on?

T:            I think I’m pregnant.

D:            What? You’re kidding! You said you were on the pill.

T:            Well I must have forgotten to take it a few times.

D:            Whoa…You know we talked about how I’m about to go away to college. I told
              you how important it was that we were protected. We agreed that you were going
              to take the pill. You said you were taking it.

T:            Well, I made a mistake. I didn’t think anything was really going to happen. And
              anyways, I asked you to use a condom and you said no. Now the baby will be
              both of ours—not mine only. It’s both our problem.

D:            Man. I don’t think I can handle this. I’ve got a whole future to think about.
              Besides, you lied to me about taking the pill, how do I know you’re not lying
              about the baby being mine?

T:            You know it’s yours. Now I’m going to need help and support. Are you going to
              be there for me?

D:            I don’t know. This is so messed up.
                                        Simulation II

Maurice, George, Paul, Tina

TV Talk Show — “Maurice”

Maurice:      Welcome back to the Maurice show. Today’s show is coming live from Seattle,
              Washington. The topic — You’re my baby’s daddy! Let’s get things started.
              Everybody welcome Tina! (Tina comes out on stage and sits down.)

Tina:         Hello Maurice.

M:            Hello Tina. Why don’t you tell us what’s going on?

T:            Well, Maurice. I am 18 years old. I’ve been dating a man named George for about
              three years. Last year, I got pregnant and had a baby girl. When I found out I was
              pregnant, I told George.

M:            What did George do when you told him?

T:            First, he was pretty upset. He thought I was using birth control, but he was wrong.
              So, he thought I should have an abortion. I told him I didn’t want to. So after a
              while, he finally said that he would be okay with it, and he would help me take
              care of the baby.

M:            Ok. Why don’t we bring George out here to find out what happened?! George,
              come on out!!!
              (George comes out and sits down.)
              George, did you hear what Tina told us?

G:            Yes I did Maury.

M:            Ok. What happened after Tina told you she was having your baby?

G:            Well, she’s right. I was pretty mad when I found out that she was pregnant. She
              had told me she was using birth control. But she was lying!!! She actually wasn’t
              using any at all!

M:            Were you using protection?

G:            No. I figured we were ok as long as she was using birth control.

M:            So, what did you decide to do once she told you she was keeping the baby?
G:      Well, I figured I should do the right thing and help take care of her.

M:      Is that what happened?

G:      Yeah. At first. For about the first year, I was helping pay to take care of the baby.
        I paid a lot of money for the time when Tina was in the hospital giving birth.
        Then, I paid a lot more money to buy clothes and diapers and stuff.

M:      Then what happened?

G:      Well, I found out from my friend Raheem that about the time Tina told me she got
        pregnant, Raheem had seen her out with this other dude named Paul.

M:      What did you think when you found that out?

G:      I was mad. Me and Tina had been fighting around that time, and now I was
        starting to think that maybe that baby isn’t mine!

M:      Ok, let’s keep things interesting. Paul, come on out here!
        (Paul comes out)
        Paul, do you know Tina?

P:      Yes. We were seeing each other a little while back. Now I hear she has a baby.
        But that baby can’t be mine!

G:      Oh man! Tina you said you were only with me!

T:      I know. I’m sorry. We were fighting back then. I just needed somebody to talk to.

M:      Tina. Did you ever sleep with Paul?

T:      Yes I did Maurice.

M:      Have you ever had any tests done to find out who the father of your baby is?

T:      No I haven’t Maurice.

M:      What do you think will happen if you get these two men tested?

T:      I don’t know Maurice. I just don’t know…

M:      Alright, after the break, we’ll try to figure out who the father of Tina’s baby is!

Supplement Problem A-31.1: Breach of an Oral Contract? Whose Rights Count?

        Kelly and Leon have dated for six months. They are both 18, and live in Washington
State. At the beginning of their sexual relationship, Kelly tells Leon that she has a disease that
makes her infertile (unable to have children). Leon insists that Kelly use birth control anyway.
Leon does not use any form of contraception.

         Kelly becomes pregnant. Leon asks her to have an abortion, since he is not ready to
marry, and has plans to go to college. Kelly refuses. They break up, and Leon does not hear from
Kelly until a year later, when he is served with papers in a paternity action against him. The suit
asks that he be declared the father of the child, and pay support of $350 per month. It also asks
for reimbursement of Kelly's medical expenses during the pregnancy, and for past support for the
last six months, since the baby was born. Kelly claims that she told Leon after a few months of
their relationship that she was no longer using contraceptives.

       Leon hires an attorney to represent him because he feels he should not be required to
support this child. He denies that Kelly ever told him that she had stopped using birth control.
        Leon's attorney argues that Kelly breached an oral contract between them to use birth
control. He also argues that her refusal to have an abortion increased Leon's damages caused by
her breach of the contract. He also argues that Kelly was careless and negligent in failing to use
birth control, and that she intentionally lied to him about whether she was using it.

1. Identify all the arguments for Leon. Rank the arguments for Leon from most important to
   least important.
2. Identify all the arguments for Kelly. Rank the arguments for Kelly from most important to
   least important.
3. How should the court rule and why?

Supplement Problem A-31.1: Breach of an Oral Contract? Whose Rights Count?

l.     The arguments for Leon, besides those mentioned in the facts could be that she chose to
       have this child against his wishes and she should be required to support it; that he should
       not be required to pay the six month back child support because she did not let him know
       that she was seeking support for those months, and that he is not the father.

2.     Arguments for Kelly could be that she told Leon she was no longer using birth control,
       and he took the risk that she could become pregnant; the child is born and they are both
       responsible now to provide for the child, regardless of fault; she cannot afford to support
       herself and the child, and since he is the father he must pay.

3.     This is similar to an actual case from Washington, decided in 1984. In that case, the
       father sought to set off his damages in his action against the mother for breach of
       contract, to lessen his future child support obligation. The court ruled that it could not
       consider the father's claims because in a paternity case under the Uniform Parentage Act,
       the only issues for consideration are the needs of the child, and the parents' ability to
       support the child. The court stated "Nothing in the UPA [Uniform Parentage Act] permits
       parents in an action brought thereunder to litigate the issue of whether or not they in fact
       wanted the child."
4.     The court concluded that the father's claims, even if true, are not facts to be considered by
       the court in determining the amount of child support to be paid.
PowerPoint Slides — Paternity in Washington

Slide 1                                                        ___________________________________
                  Paternity in Washington                      ___________________________________
                             Street Law 2007

Slide 2                                                        ___________________________________
                             Objectives                        ___________________________________
               1. Understand who the stakeholders are in
                  establishing paternity                       ___________________________________

               2. Understand who the law in Washington,        ___________________________________
                  and other states, chooses to protect and
                  why                                          ___________________________________

               3. Understand how paternity is established
                  under Washington law

Slide 3                                                        ___________________________________
                          Getting Started                      ___________________________________
               (1) “The state or condition of being a
               (2) “identification of the father of a child”
               (1) “The state or condition of being a
Slide 4                                                         ___________________________________
            Getting Started: Definitions                        ___________________________________
          • PRESUMPTION: a reasonable conclusion taken as
            fact unless other facts are proved that suggest     ___________________________________
            otherwise (an assumption)
          • AFFIDAVIT: written statement of fact sworn to       ___________________________________
            be true and made under oath
          • MATERNITY: the state or condition of being a
            mother usually shown through birth
          • BIOLOGICAL FATHER/MOTHER: state or
            condition of being a mother or father by blood or   ___________________________________
            genetic relationship to the child

Slide 5                                                         ___________________________________
                    Definitions (cont.)                         ___________________________________
          • PARENTAL RIGHTS: if paternity established, a
            parent’s right to make all decisions concerning a   ___________________________________
            child’s care and custody (may be limited)
          • CHILD SUPPORT: parent’s legal obligation to         ___________________________________
            contribute to the financial needs of a child’s
            education and daily necessities until that child
            turns eighteen
          • RESCIND: to cancel or take away acceptance of
            an otherwise valid contract                         ___________________________________
          • DCS: Department of Child Services

Slide 6                                                         ___________________________________
                Paternity or Parentage                          ___________________________________
          • Establishes a Legal Relationship
            between father and child                            ___________________________________
          • Mother’s maternity is presumed because
            of giving birth                                     ___________________________________
          • Paternity does not automatically mean               ___________________________________
            “biological father”
Slide 7       Why does creating a legal                                            ___________________________________
          relationship via paternity matter?                                       ___________________________________
          For the Child                           For the Father                   ___________________________________
             – Right to child                            – Right to know their
               support                                     child                   ___________________________________
             – Right to inheritance                      – Child support
             – Right to use father’s                       payments (financial
               insurance (military                         obligations)            ___________________________________
               benefits)                                 – Right to assert
             – Right to know family                        parental rights
               medical history                             (custody, visitation,   ___________________________________

Slide 8                                                                            ___________________________________
                 Uniform Parentage Act
                    (RCW 26.26 et. seq.)                                           ___________________________________
          Three ways to establish paternity:                                       ___________________________________
             – Presumption if husband of mother
             – Declare paternity via official affidavit
             – Court judgment

Slide 9                                                                            ___________________________________
                Presumption if Married
          • Mother and Husband are married
            before birth
          • Husband is presumed to be the
             – Husband may sign a Denial of
               Paternity affidavit within 10 days of
               birth if a father has filed a Paternity

             – After 10 days in order for the father
               to overcome this presumption, must
               bring a case in court, at which point
               court will look to best interests of the
               child, which may be remaining with                                  ___________________________________
               the Husband although not biological
Slide 10                                                                    ___________________________________
                        Paternity Affidavit                                 ___________________________________
                                        • In writing and under oath
                                          signed by mother and father
                                        • A legal claim over fatherhood
                                          of a child                        ___________________________________
                                        • Can be made before or after
                                          child is born                     ___________________________________
                                        • Minors can sign but are held to
                                          same standard as adults           ___________________________________
                                        • Can rescind within 60 days

Slide 11                                                                    ___________________________________
                          Court Judgment                                    ___________________________________
           • A court of law (usually in the county
             where the mother/child reside) makes
             a determination of paternity                                   ___________________________________
           • Court usually requires DNA/genetic
             test of suspected father, the mother
             and the child
           • Can be private proceeding started by
             the mother                                                     ___________________________________
           • Can be a proceeding by the State
             through the Department of Child
             Support (DCS) where a county
             Prosecutor acts on behalf of the child


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