Paternity Family Attorneys Located in Canton, Michigan

  1. Whether a man can exercise parental rights over his child may depend on the father’s marital status at the time the child was either born or conceived – this finding will also impact how he may go about establishing paternity. When a child is born and/or conceived during a marriage, the husband is presumed to be the father, and is automatically deemed to be the legal father of the child, and may enjoy the legal rights associated with that. When a child is born out of wedlock, however, parents are required to take proactive steps in order to establish the paternity of the child. If you are the parent of a child born out of wedlock, and desire to appropriately legitimize the child by establishing legal parentage, it is important that you understand the different processes available in Michigan to do so.
  1. The most common way to establish paternity for a child born out of wedlock in Michigan is through the Michigan Paternity Act, found in MCL 722.711 et. seq. The Paternity Act essentially serves two primary purposes: to promote the legitimization of children born out of wedlock, and to provide a mechanism through which to determine appropriate custody, parenting time, and support for children born out of wedlock. 
  2. To initiate a paternity action, the moving party must file a Complaint with the appropriate county’s Circuit Court in the Family Division. The complaint must allege facts sufficient to establish that the child was born out of wedlock. Pursuant toMCL 722.711(a), a “child born out of wedlock” is defined as:

A child begotten and born to a woman who was not married from the conception to the date of birth of the child, or a child that the court has determined to be a child born or conceived during a marriage but not the issue of that marriage.