It is not unusual these days for unmarried couples to have a child together. Sometimes these couples marry, creating a union that includes them and their child. However, not all these relationships are meant to last, and an unmarried couple with a child may eventually break up. When this happens, it is important to establish paternity, for the benefit of the child.
Why should I establish paternity?
Paternity is important for parents. An unmarried father’s name cannot be placed on a child’s birth certificate unless paternity is established. Should the parents’ relationship not last, paternity must be established in order for the mother to seek child support or for the father to seek visitation rights. Moreover, establishing paternity can be a way to give your child the financial support and benefits that allow them to grow and prosper. Establishing paternity also gives a child a sense of where they came from.
How do I establish paternity in Michigan?
In Michigan, if a couple is married when the child is born, the father is presumed to be the child’s biological parent. If a couple is unmarried, they can voluntarily sign an affidavit form stating that they each acknowledge the father is the child’s biological parent. If there is a dispute regarding the child’s parentage the parties can ask the court to establish paternity. This will generally involve a DNA test.
Children deserve the support and love of both parents
When a child is born, that child deserves the love and support of both parents. Absent situations of domestic abuse, raising a child and providing for that child should be a joint effort of both parents. Michigan families come in all shapes and sizes, and this sometimes mean a child’s parents will no longer be in a relationship with one another but are still committed to sharing in the duties of raising the child and providing for the child’s physical and emotional needs. Establishing paternity is simply the legal means of cementing this commitment to your child’s needs.