Whether your spouse or partner has recently had a baby, you’re expecting a baby in the near future, or you’ve just discovered that you might be a father, establishing paternity is a very important step. So what does that involve for Michigan dads, and what would you have to do to prove that this baby is really yours (or isn’t, if that’s what you’re trying to find out)? Let’s take a look…
What does Michigan law say about paternity?
Michigan has a Paternity Act, which serves two main purposes:
- To legitimize children born out of wedlock (which means children who are born to parents who aren’t married), and
- To provide a way for appropriate custody, parenting time, and child support can be determined for these children.
What happens if we’re married when the baby is born?
If you and your spouse are legally married when your baby is born, then paternity isn’t really an issue. Any baby born to a married mother and father is automatically assumed to be the child of that couple. Both parents’ names will be put on the birth certificate, which is a legal document that establishes paternity for your baby. (If you’re married and you still suspect the baby isn’t yours this could be a HUGE issue, but that’s another topic for later!)
What about if we’re not married when the baby is born?
If the baby’s mother is unmarried at the time of the birth, or her husband isn’t sure that the baby is biologically his, paternity has to be legally established. This is also the case in situations where the mother isn’t sure who the father is, or the father won’t voluntarily establish paternity. When this happens, there are ways to legally establish paternity in Michigan.
Why is it important to establish a child’s paternity?
There are many reasons why establishing paternity is important. Here are a few of the more common ones:
- Legal paternity has to be established in order for a father to petition the court for custody or parenting time with a child.
- In order for a father to have the right to make medical, educational and care-related decisions for their child, they would need to prove that they’re really the dad.
- It’s actually good for a child’s emotional wellbeing to know who their parents are
- In order for a child to have access to a more complete medical history as they grow up, they would need to know who their parents are
Are you involved in a sensitive paternity situation and need help?
If you or a loved one are faced with a sensitive paternity situation, and you don’t know what to do next, the family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm can help you with every potential aspect of your case. Establishing paternity is very serious, and can have long term consequences if it isn’t handled properly. So don’t leave this to chance. Get the expert help you need, and call our skilled and experienced family law attorneys today at 866 766 5245. We’re here to help.