How to File a Paternity Action in Michigan

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In Michigan, if the mother is married when she became pregnant, or when the child is born, the husband is recognized as the father. If the mother is not married when she became pregnant, or when the child is born, the parents can complete an Affidavit of Parentage form to voluntarily declare parentage.

The parties who acknowledge paternity are subject to specific legal responsibilities. The mother has initial custody of the child and both parents have the responsibility to provide child support. The parties also give up their right to blood or genetic testing to determine who is the biological father of the child.

If both parents do not complete and sign the Affidavit of Parentage, the father has the right to request a court proceeding to establish paternity.

Step 1

Determine the residence of the mother and child. If the mother and child live outside the state of Michigan, the case is filed in the county in Michigan where the father resides.

Step 2

File a complaint in the county where the mother lives. The complaint is the legal document that details the facts of the case and the remedy you are seeking. The proper court is the family division of the circuit court in Michigan.

Step 3

Assert a claim in your complaint for parenting time or custody. The complaint should detail the specific relief that the court is being asked to grant. Depending on the circumstances of the parents, the father may want visitation rights recognized or ask for full custody.

Step 4

Pay the court fees established by the county in which the case will be brought. At the time you file your petition, you will be required to pay the necessary court fees.

Step 5

Allow time for the court to issue the summons and schedule a hearing.

Step 6

Serve the summons on the mother. The summons specifies the date, the court and that a hearing for paternity will be held.

Step 7

Pass the laboratory tests that the court requires to establish the father's biological connection to the child. Unless the mother consents that an individual is the father, the court will order that an independent laboratory conduct testing to scientifically establish filiation.


About the Author

Grayson Charles has been writing and editing since 1986. He enjoys writing technical articles in the areas of government, law, public policy, computers and the impact of the Internet on society. He was previously a freelance writer for "Panacea Magazine." Charles holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the State University of New York at Albany.

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