Understanding Your Rights: Paternity And Parenting Time
For unmarried couples, establishing paternity is an integral part of ensuring that parents are able to enforce their rights and hold co-parents accountable for the responsibilities associated with having children.
At Jackman & Kasody PLLC, a Michigan divorce and family law firm, we represent mothers and fathers in paternity actions. Based in Oakland County, our lawyers bring more than 60 years of combined legal experience to each case we handle, giving us the skill necessary to advocate effectively for clients when their parental rights are on the line.
We serve Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.
Protecting The Rights Of Mothers And Fathers
Paternity issues affect the rights of both parents, making it critical that each parent have a seasoned family law attorney helping to explain their options and protect their rights.
Often, unmarried parents who have a solid relationship when a child is born, allow establishing paternity to take a back seat to the more pressing concerns of caring for a newborn. Unfortunately, when relationships fall apart this leaves many fathers unable to immediately enforce their rights to spend time with their children and mothers unable to secure the support they need to make ends meet.
At Jackman & Kasody PLLC, our attorneys serve either parent facing a paternity issue and provide comprehensive representation that reaches to all related areas, including child custody, parenting time and child support matters. We encourage clients to look for amicable solutions that preserve their co-parenting relationships, but our skilled, capable courtroom attorneys are ready to defend our clients when an agreement is not possible.
Why is it important to establish paternity?
For fathers hoping to establish paternity, this legal arrangement can support their continued connection to their child. This includes protecting their right to custody and visitation, allowing them to travel with their child and preventing the other parent from taking their child without their consent.
Establishing paternity can also benefit the child in many ways. This process ensures that a child has continued support from both parents in the form of child support, Social Security and other benefits. It also protects their connection with both parents no matter what the future brings.
How is paternity established in Michigan?
When parents are married at the time of a child’s birth, they are generally both assumed to be a child’s legal parents. However, unmarried parents need to take additional steps to establish paternity.
In Michigan, parents that agree on the name of a child’s father can sign an Affidavit of Parentage. This document establishes a child’s paternity by mutual consent of the parents.
If a mother does not wish to acknowledge her child’s father or if the father does not want to claim this role, parents can still establish paternity by filing a paternity case with the court. The court will then hold a hearing, and fathers will generally undergo genetic testing to establish a link between themselves and their children.