Father’s rights: Establishing paternity in the state of Michigan

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Establishing paternity allows unwed fathers to enact their parental rights, and allows children to claim to benefits and support from both parents.

Across the United States, there is legislation surrounding the rights of children, particularly relating to the rights of married couples. For example, when two people are married, and a pregnancy occurs during the time of the marriage, it is automatically assumed by the state that the husband is the father to the child. By making this assumption in the state of Michigan, he is considered the child’s father under the law, giving this husband a variety of legal rights, without ever having to prove a genetic connection to the child. The allowed certain parental rights may include being able to sign the birth certificate immediately, and more. Those are privileged moments that most parents would cherish, but unfortunately, not all fathers are immediately provided with that life changing opportunity, For some, legally proving their connection to their offspring can be a much more arduous process The privileges automatically afforded to husbands in relationships where a pregnancy occurred, are not immediately recognized for men who impregnate someone that they are not legally married to.  For these unwed fathers. In order to enact their parental rights, they must take steps to establish paternity if they want to have legal involvement in the life of their child.


However, we believe that marriage should be a personal choice. Whether financial issues hinder you, distance is a factor, or any other reasons may prevent you from marriage, know that you still have rights if a pregnancy occurs with someone who you have been intimate with. Unfortunately, many men assume that if he is not married to the mother of the unborn child, that he automatically loses all rights to the child. However, that is generally untrue. Protections exist in many states that account for situations when the father and mother are unmarried, and ensure that the father still has the opportunity to be legally connected to the child. The Michigan paternity act outlines this process in great detail, including an explanation of what the process of a paternity case will look like. This is not a process that someone should try to navigate alone. Though family and friends can be great support, working with an experienced paternity attorney will ensure your best results in the courtroom, in order to begin building a relationship with your child, even before they are born. With the help of a paternity attorney in Michigan, as a biological father, you still have rights when a child is born. In order to prove that you are indeed the legal father, rather than simply the alleged father, you will have to take a court ordered paternity test by the state of Michigan. Once the family circuit courts confirm a dna match through paternity testing, then you are able to sign the birth certificate.

Why is it important to establish paternity?

Children grow up fast. Because of this, every moment that you spend with them counts. A strong relationship with your child is not only rewarding for you as a parent, but also critical for the stability and emotional security of a child. We do our best to stress this concept to any of our potential clients who are the fathers to a child of a woman that they are not married to. Even if your relationship with the mother of your child is amicable at this point, things can change and it is important to be protected. Establishing paternity can be important to parents, as well as children. Until a man has legally established himself as a child’s father, he does not have any rights to his child. As such, he cannot seek child custody, parenting time or visitation. Additionally, men who have not established paternity do not have the right to participate in important decisions regarding their children. This means that they would have no input on decisions, including their children’s medical treatment or schooling.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, children are entitled to certain benefits from their mothers, as well as their fathers. This could include Social Security insurance benefits, health insurance and veterans’ benefits. When paternity has not been established, a child does not have a claim to these types of benefits through his or her father.

Voluntary paternity acknowledgements

When there is no contest regarding the identity of a child’s father, parents often opt to sign an affidavit of parentage form. This is the easiest way for a father to establish paternity, according to the Michigan Courts. Parents may sign this form at the hospital following their child’s birth, at the local DHS office, at a county Registrar’s Office or by completing the form on the DHS website. When filing this form, both parents’ signatures must be notarized and they must have valid photo identification.

How does the courCourt orders to establish paternityt divide debt?

Another way for unmarried fathers to establish paternity is through a court order. This method is typically used in cases when there is a dispute over the identity of a child’s father. Although mothers, DHS or the Office of Child Support often initiate such cases, fathers may also start them.
Before a court order to establish paternity can be issued, the court must hold hearings to determine if a man indeed a child’s father. With few exceptions, blood tests are ordered so that DNA testing can be performed. If such testing shows that a man is the father, then the judge enters an order of filiation. After this, orders may also be issued for custody, visitation and child support.

Seeking legal counsel

Establishing paternity can be complicated for unwed fathers in the state of Michigan, particularly when it is contested. As such, men who are seeking to establish paternity may find it of benefit to consult with a legal representative. An attorney may explain their rights and options, as well as guide them through the process.
Keywords: divorce, paternity, father, rights