When a mother gives birth and is married, there is an assumption that the husband is the legal father. In the event the mother is not married, the involved parties will need to establish paternity in Michigan. This can be done voluntarily, or it can be established via a court order.

If you need assistance with establishing paternity, it is important to speak with a Michigan paternity attorney. At Robbins & Licavoli, PLLC, we represent both mothers and fathers who need assistance with paternity matters.

Voluntarily Determining Paternity at the Hospital

When you are at the hospital for the birth, you can opt to sign an Affidavit of Parentage form if both parents agree on who the father is. When you sign the document, it is a legal agreement that you are claiming parentage of this child and are confirming that you are legally responsible as the father. If there are concerns or you have questions, you should speak with a skilled Michigan family law attorney who can advise you.

If you opt to sign the form, you will give up certain rights, including the right to have any genetic testing done to confirm who the father is, to have a court trial to establish paternity, and also the right to use a court-appointed attorney.

When you complete the form at the hospital, it does not cost anything. If you opt to do it later, there will be a small fee. Once the form is signed, your name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.

How to Establish Paternity After the Baby is Born

If the mother doesn’t agree to sign the Affidavit of Parentage, it may be because she is not completely sure of who the father is, or she may be trying to keep the father from having certain rights. In this case, you would need to file a “Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity” which would allow you to have genetic DNA testing completed. The process is quite simple and only involves a swab from inside your mouth and a swab from the inside of your potential child’s mouth.

Speak with a Michigan Family Law Attorney to Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities

No matter whether you are the father or the mother who needs assistance with determining paternity or enforcing a paternity order, you need to speak with a skilled Michigan family law attorney. Paternity cases can be complex in some situations, and it is important to understand your legal rights and obligations. Contact the Law Offices of Robbins & Licavoli, PLLC to schedule a consultation.

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