Establishing Paternity in Michigan: What You Need To Know 3

A father who isn’t named on the birth certificate needs to establish paternity in order to get custody of his kids.


Welcome back and thanks for joining us as we wrap up the subject of paternity in Michigan. In the previous articles we talked about how Michigan law defines paternity, and started looking at how it is established. Moving on, we’re going to look at the final method of legal establishment, and discuss why a parent would choose to pursue establishing paternity.


How paternity is established:

Paternity can be established in a number of ways, namely, an affidavit of parentage, a DNA test, or a court order. Having discussed the first two in part 2 of this series, we are now going to break down what the court order involves.



  • Court order


If for whatever reason, the mother doesn’t know who the father of her child is, or if the father refuses to acknowledge the child, a paternity case can be filed with the family division of the circuit court. Michigan law states that this petition must be filed in the county where the mother and child reside.


In addition, DHS can also file a paternity petition with the court, however only in instances where the mother is seeking, and eligible for, child support services or public assistance. In these instances specifically, the mother is required to provide DHS with as much information as possible on any and all possible fathers. Michigan law allows DHS to deny assistance to mothers who refuse to cooperate with the search for a father.


Why is establishing paternity important?

Aside from the situation mentioned previously, where identifying a father is critical for a mother applying for state assistance in Michigan, there are several other scenarios where establishing paternity would be important.


For example, in order for a father to seek out the opportunity to share custody of his child, or have visitation, he may need to prove that he is actually the child’s father. So in custody and visitation matters the issue of paternity is important.


Another instance where paternity plays a role is in medical history. Without knowledge of their father’s identity, a child cannot have a complete understanding of their own medical history. Other reasons that mothers may believe are important include helping to establish a child’s identity, and the opportunity to establish a father-child relationship.


If you are faced with a paternity related situation, the family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm can help you. Establishing paternity is a very serious business, and can have disastrous results if handled incorrectly. Don’t leave this to chance. Get expert help now. Call 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled family law attorneys are available around the clock to help you.