In 1990, the Rhode Island Supreme Court considered for the first time the rights of parents whose legal presumption of paternity is later challenged during a divorce proceeding. The court held that the mother was equitably estopped from using genetic blood testing to disestablish a child’s paternity in connection with a divorce proceeding.
Petitioner and respondent began dating in the fall of 1984. Petitioner gave birth to their first child in 1986. She testified that she told respondent immediately after giving birth that the child was the child of another man. Respondent contradicted this testimony.
The parties married in December 1986. Respondent testified that he married respondent because he thought it was the right thing to do. The parties remained at his parents’ home until respondent moved out in 1987. After leaving respondent, petitioner gave birth to to their second child.