Most paternity cases in Michigan are filed because the mother is trying to establish paternity for a child, usually so that she can file for child support, or some other form of government assistance. However, that isn’t the case in every situation. Some cases are dads who want to be part of their children’s lives. However, if the child’s mother refuses to allow them access, and because paternity was never formally acknowledged, they have no option but to ask the court for help. If that sounds like your situation, then this article is for you.
Why would a father have to fight to have role acknowledged?
For a long time when parents parted ways, fathers were so often kicked to the curb in favor of mothers. Thankfully, that mindset is changing. Now, fathers have a number of ways of asserting paternity, which ensures that they won’t be denied an opportunity to play a role in their children’s lives. For dads who are acknowledged right from the start by being named as the father on the child’s birth certificate, this issue won’t ever come up. But for dads who don’t discover until later in their child’s life that they’re a father, they may have a battle to fight to get that fact legally recognized.
What is paternity, and how do you get it in Michigan?
Paternity, by definition, is the legal determination of a child’s biological father. In other words, it proves who the child’s real father is. One of the easiest ways to establish paternity is to file an “acknowledgement” at your local Michigan vital records department, which both parents will need to sign in order for it to be valid. However, if your child’s mother refuses to acknowledge your claim, a father can establish paternity by filing a suit through the court. In this instance, the determination will be made by a Judge who oversees your case.
What is the process of having your fatherhood recognized by the court?
The Judge will start the process by notifying the mother that you have filed a paternity suit, and scheduling a hearing. Next, the Judge will order a paternity test be performed. This can be done either using a blood test or a DNA test. This is not affected in any way by the mother’s opinion, and her compliance in a court-ordered test is mandatory. All paternity cases in Michigan are handled by the Family Division of the Circuit Court. It’s important to remember that if you want to file a paternity case in Michigan, it must be filed in the county where the child’s mother lives. If the mother and child live in another state, you can file the suit in the county where you live in Michigan.
What happens next in a Michigan paternity case?
Once the results of the paternity test have been confirmed by a reputable lab where the test was completed (at home tests will not be accepted by the court as valid!) they will be sent to the court. The judge will look over the results and reveal them to the court at the scheduled paternity hearing. The results will be formalized at the hearing, with you either being legally recognized as the child’s father, or not. If you are not, the case will be dismissed.
These type of cases are complex, and laws differ from state to state
If you are certain that a child is your and the child’s mother is refusing to allow you any contact, or even the chance to prove you’re the father, call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family law attorneys have handled many paternity cases over the years, helping fathers from all over Michigan establish their role in their children’s lives, and protecting their parenting rights. If you have a parenting issue you need resolved, or have questions you’d like answered, we are standing by to help.