State ex rel Simons v. Simons

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 09-17-2014
  • Case #: A153238
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In determining whether a defense of nonparentage may be raised, the law that governs is the law of the state where parentage is asserted to have been previously determined.

Respondent Alton Simons (Simons) appealed a judgment of the circuit court determining that he is the legal father of the child (the child) of petitioner, Wendy Simons (mother), and ordering him to pay monthly child support payments. At the time of the child’s birth, Simons and the mother were married, and lived in Louisiana. Simons currently resides in Oregon. Simons is listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father of the child. There was no dispute that Simons is not the biological father. A Louisiana judgment that dissolved the marriage made no mention of the child, but mentioned two other children of the marriage. Simmons argued that (1) a support order from Louisiana should have prevented the circuit court from entering an Oregon support order; and (2) the circuit court erred in not allowing him to claim nonparentage. The Court found that the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act applied, because the petitioner and respondent live in different states. The Court held that (1) Louisiana’s judgment of marital dissolution is not a support order, and therefore did not prevent the circuit court from entering a support order in Oregon; and (2) Simons was not able to use nonparentage as a defense because paternity has already been determined by operation of law. Louisiana law presumes paternity in the husband of a married woman who gives birth, with a statutory period in which the presumed father may rebut the presumption. Simons had not rebutted the presumption during the statutory period. Affirmed.

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