At Haskell Law, PC, our team of experienced family lawyers regularly handle paternity cases. We understand the sensitive nature of paternity matters, especially involving unmarried mothers.
We know how important it is for the mother and child to establish paternity. When the father is legally recognized, it can offer the child much needed emotional and financial support essential for healthy development. Establishing paternity is important for fathers too. Fail to establish paternity and you may lose future opportunities for parenting time or child custody.
Our firm provides legal counsel to clients throughout West Michigan, and if you need a team of Grand Rapids family law attorneys to help guide you through your case, contact us. Our attorneys have experience handling a broad range of paternity matters and representing clients from all walks of life. We can represent both mothers and fathers in paternity actions, and help each party understand their parental obligations once paternity is established. Once the courts have established legal paternity, we can also assist clients with creating child support orders, child custody orders, and parenting/visitation schedules.
Establishing Paternity in Michigan
Paternity actions involve identifying the legal father of a child and are necessary in cases where the child was born out of wedlock or the father is unknown. In today’s modern age, DNA evidence has made establishing paternity easier and more conclusive than in the past.
Paternity in Michigan can be established in several ways:
- If the parents are marriedat the time of the child’s birth, the husband is presumed to be the legal father.
- If the parents are not married, the father can voluntarily acknowledge parentage by being added to the child’s birth certificate and submitting the necessary forms.
- If the alleged father disputes paternity(either married or unmarried), genetic testing is usually conducted to confirm parentage. Testing can be ordered by the court.
Which Parent Has Initial Custody of the Child?
Before paternity is established, the mother will usually be granted full custody unless a court determines otherwise, or both parties agree to another arrangement in writing.
Schedule a Personalized Consultation
Learn more about how our Grand Rapids paternity lawyers can help you and your child. We can discuss your unique situation and explain your options for establishing or disputing paternity.