For unmarried parents in Michigan, establishing the paternity of a child may present legal issues that need to be addressed. If you need assistance with a paternity matter, Michigan family law attorney Henry Bergmans can explain Michigan law and guide you through the legal process.

Paternity for Children Born Out Of Wedlock

There are several reasons why an unmarried parent may wish to establish a child's paternity. For example, a mother needing financial support for the child typically must prove paternity before a court will order child support payments. Paternity also must be established before a potential father can enforce parental rights, including child custody and visitation.

Under Michigan law, there are two main ways for unmarried parents to establish paternity for a child:

  • Paternity acknowledgment: Both parents can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by completing and signing the proper documentation.
  • Paternity action: Either parent may seek to establish paternity by filing a complaint with the appropriate court. Oftentimes, these actions are resolved using DNA testing. If a man is determined to be a child's father, the court enters what is known as an order of filiation declaring paternity.

Paternity Issues for Married Parents

Generally, a child born during a marriage is legally presumed to be the child of the husband. However, the Michigan Revocation of Paternity Act enables a putative biological father to file a motion challenging this presumption in certain circumstances. The legal process can be complex. Seeking advice from a knowledgeable family law attorney is strongly recommended if you wish to consider filing or are defending against an action filed under the Revocation of Paternity Act.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Henry Bergmans

If you have questions about establishing paternity in Michigan, contact Henry Bergmans for a free initial consultation by reaching out through the online contact form or calling at (810) 360-0900. From his office in Howell, Henry assists clients throughout Livingston County, Genesee County, Ingham County, and Washtenaw County, and in the surrounding areas.