Establishing Paternity in Michigan

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Legal Blog
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:29

In the ideal circumstance, every child would be connected in some way to supportive parents who are able to provide emotionally and financially for them. But life is rarely so straight-forward and many families are faced with issues of unclear paternity or even disputed paternity.

The need to legally establish paternity might be particularly great in instances of contested child custody or child support in Michigan. In cases like that, you may need the assistance of a Chelsea family law attorney.

Reasons for Establishing Paternity in Michigan

Having a legal father can greatly improve life for a Michigan child. The mother of a child with a legal father can receive child support payments. Also, a child with a legal father can be eligible for benefits like Social Security and inheritance rights.

A Michigan mother may want to establish paternity in order to:

  • ensure financial support for her children;
  • give her children a sense of connection to the father's side of the family; or
  • clear up doubt about the identity of the child's father.
Similarly, a Michigan father may want to establish his paternity in order to:
  • take responsibility for his child;
  • have legal rights to visitation or custody; and
  • be assured of his biological connection to the child.

If you're a parent with questions about paternity, you should seek the counsel of a Chelsea family law attorney. Your attorney can help you through the process of establishing paternity.

Establishing Paternity in Michigan

Paternity can be established in several different ways in Michigan. If a woman is married when her baby is born, her husband is considered the father of the child.

If a woman is divorced or widowed for 10 months or less, the man she was married to at the time of conception is considered the father of the child.

If a woman is not married at the time of her baby's birth, both parents can sign an Affidavit of Parentage to establish paternity.

In cases where the father does not voluntarily claim paternity of the child, the mother can file to establish paternity with the Michigan courts. If the mother and/or child is a recipient of Michigan public assistance, the state agency may file an action to establish paternity.

In cases where 1 or both parents want proof that the man is indeed the biological father of the child before naming him as the legal father, blood tests or genetic testing may be done.

If you are in the midst of a child custody or child support dispute stemming from confusion about your child's paternity, contact a Chelsea family law attorney. By securing the help of a Chelsea family law attorney early in the process, you will be better equipped to protect your rights as a parent and your child's best interests, no matter which side of the debate you are standing on.

 

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