What Rights Does a Father Have in Michigan?

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What Rights Does a Father Have in Michigan?

If you had a child with a woman, but you were not married, you may feel as though your relationship with your son or daughter is in the mother’s hands. You may think the mother can prevent you from seeing your child or even contacting them at all. Fortunately, that is not the case. As a loving father, you have just as many rights to form a bond and develop a relationship with your child as their mother does.

The Right to Child Custody and Child Support

If you are the biological father of a child, you have full rights to spend time with your child. Whether that is full child custody or visitation, you have a right to petition the court and ask a judge to issue an order indicating the time you will spend with your child. If you spend more time with the child than the mother, you also have a right to child support. Child support is meant to cover the costs incurred by the child for food, clothing, extracurricular activities, education, and other needs.

There are many factors the courts will consider when making decisions about child custody and child support. All of them, however, are in the best interests of the child. The court will focus on what the child needs and what will best serve them. The parents’ wishes, and their genders, are not taken into consideration.

Exercising Your Rights as a Father

As a father, you have a right to child custody, visitation, and perhaps even child support. Before you can exercise those rights, though, you must first establish yourself as the biological child of the father.

The most straightforward way to establish paternity is to be married at the time of the child’s birth. As in most states, Michigan law presumes that a husband is the biological child of a child born to a married couple. Another fairly easy way to establish paternity is to agree with the child’s mother that you are the biological father. If you and the mother can agree, you can both sign an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” form, which is legally binding.

If you and the mother cannot agree to paternity, you will have to petition the court. The court will likely order a DNA test, and if it comes back positive, you can then move forward in establishing your rights. A Michigan family lawyer can help you through the next steps so you receive the full child custody and support you deserve.

Our Family Lawyer in Michigan Can Help You Establish Paternity

Whether you need to establish paternity or pursue child custody or support or petition the courts for child support or child custody, you need sound legal advice. At Lucido & Manzella, P.C., our Michigan family lawyer can provide it and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us now at 586-228-3900 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can protect your rights.

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