The process of determining the father of a child when the parents are not married is known as establishing paternity. If you are married to someone at the time of the birth of a child, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. However, there are times when paternity may be questioned when entering into a divorce. When dealing with issues surrounding paternity, it is important to seek the legal counsel of an experienced family law attorney.
Paternity can be established without entering the court system through the filing of certain documents. However, before signing any legal documents, you should seek the advice of a family law firm. There are simple ways to genetically prove the paternity of a child, giving you peace of mind knowing you are the child’s father.
Contact Grewal Law PLLC at (888) 211-5798 for a free case evaluation with one of our paternity attorneys. We serve clients throughout the state of Michigan.
Determining Paternity of a Child
At the hospital, you may be asked to sign an Affidavit of Parentage form if you and the mother agree you are the father of the child. By signing the form, you are claiming parentage of a child and are affirming you are legally claiming the child. Never sign a legal document without the advice of an experienced family law attorney.
When the form is completed, the parents give up certain rights. These include the ability to have genetic testing done to determine the child’s father, the chance to have a trial to decide the biological father, and the chance to use a court-appointed attorney.
Cases revolving around paternity are handled through the family division of the Michigan Circuit Courts. In addition, once a father signs the paternity acknowledgement a family support order will be issued creating a financial obligation until the child reaches the age of 18. The form can always be completed at a later date for a small fee. Once completed, the father’s name will also be added to the child’s certificate.
Establishing Paternity after a Child Is Born
Sometimes a mother may not agree to sign the Affidavit of Parentage if she is unsure of the father’s identity or if she wants to try to keep the father from having rights related to the child. Under these circumstances, you will file a “Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity” allowing you to have DNA testing done. As the father, you deserve to be involved in your child’s life and you need an attorney who will fight for your rights.
The process of establishing paternity using DNA is very easy. The use of a simple swab from inside the potential father’s mouth can be tested against the results of a swab from inside the child’s cheek.
One of our experienced family law attorneys can explain the entire testing process to you. If the mother is receiving public assistance, the Michigan Department of Human Services may require a DNA test to require the father to pay support for the child.
Paternity & Child Custody/Visitation
For a child, paternity is established to set up visitation, support, and custody arrangements for the father of a child. In order to keep rights associated with seeing your child and having a relationship with them it is imperative to confirm paternity.
Once paternity is established, the mother will be required to enter into an agreement allowing you parenting time, ultimately leading into some form of custody over the child. The court will enter a temporary order, giving you the right to see the child until the formal hearing is held.
The payment of child support goes along with having paternity established. The court will set up an order requiring some form of support to be paid for the care of the child. Payments will be made through the Friend of the Court.
Gaining Custody in Adoption Cases
In addition, establishing paternity can allow you to gain custody of your child if the mother is considering giving the child up for adoption. There are several things the court will consider before allowing the father to stop the adoption of the child.
First, the father must have shown support for the mother and have made provisions to care for the child on his own. The court will then determine if the father has a right to the child or if his parental rights will be terminated allowing the adoption to go through.
A father has the right to his child too, so if the mother of your child is threatening an adoption speak to one of our paternity attorneys today.
Paternity Support from an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Establishing paternity for a child can be a sensitive and emotional issue. The mother of a child may try to force the father into accepting paternity without the evidence he deserves to prove he is the parent. Other times, the mother may try to prevent the father of a child from seeing his child.
Proving paternity is imperative to aid you with the legal support you need to see your child. At Grewal Law PLLC, we believe you deserve to have a legal team who will advocate your case. We can be your compassionate legal advocate and help you determine the true paternity of a child.
Call us for your free consultation today at (888) 211-5798.