Establishing paternity is important because the father of a child has no legal right to custody or parenting time until paternity is established. The mother of a child has sole physical and legal custody until a court decides otherwise. If there is a paternity hearing, the court will decide custody, child support, and parenting time in the same manner as if it were a divorce. If you are facing a paternity matter, The Cutler Law Firm can help.
There are two ways to establish paternity under Michigan law: (1) through a Recognition of Parentage; or (2) through genetic testing.
(1) The first of establishing paternity involves a Affidavit of Parentage. With a Recognition of Parentage, both parents sign a sworn statement that the man is the child’s father. This is only valid when it is filed with the proper State agency. If the mother is not married to someone else, and the parents are at least 18 years old, this statement of paternity is final. A Affidavit can be prepared at any time. It is best to speak with a lawyer before you sign it, to learn how it will affect your rights.
(2) The second way to establish paternity involves a court order. One parent may not want to sign an Affidavit, or more than one man may claim to be the father, or the mother may have been married to someone else when the child was born. The court will look at the evidence, including genetic tests and the past relationship between the mother and the possible father. You can ask for a genetic test but you do not have to have one to establish paternity.
If you would like to have a free consultation with an experienced attorney, kindly contact The Cutler Law Firm at 248-489-8780 or complete THE CONTACT FORM and an Attorney will promptly respond to your inquiry