Cesar C. v. Alicia L.Annotate this Case
After Alicia L. gave birth to Jaime, Cesar C. and Alicia signed an acknowledgment of paternity form acknowledging that Cesar was Jaime's biological father. The signatures were notarized. Cesar and Jaime lived together for two years. Cesar filed a complaint to establish paternity, custody, and child support with respect to Jaime. Cesar then filed a motion for temporary custody, which the court granted. After genetic testing excluded Cesar as being Jaime's biological father and after Alicia filed a separate complaint, the court awarded custody of Jaime to Alicia based on its application of the parental preference doctrine. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed, holding the district court erred when it failed to give proper legal effect to the notarized acknowledgment of paternity. In the absence of a successful challenge directed at the acknowledgment, the acknowledgment had the effect of establishing that Cesar was the legal father of Jaime and matters of custody and child support should have been considered within this legal framework. Remanded.