Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today, Equitable Estoppel Precludes Vacating Paternity Judgment

K.W. V. J.S.

In Family Court, father made a CR 60.02 motion more than three years after entry of a paternity judgment, arguing the biological mother made material misrepresentations to him to induce him to agree to a paternity judgment. The Family Court denied the CR 60.02 motion and discontinued child support.

The Appellate Court affirmed the Family Court’s denial of father’s CR 60.02 motion. Father was equitably estopped from setting aside the paternity judgment, as the he allowed the children (twins) to call him “daddy,” maintained a relationship with the children, waited over three years to make a CR 60.02 motion, and evidence at trial demonstrated he knew he was not the biological father at the time he agreed to paternity, but did so for tax benefits. The Appellate Court reversed the Family Court discontinuation of child support, holding as the legal father he is required by statute to pay support. The fact that he is not the biological father of the children is not cause for deviation from the child support guidelines.  

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell