When unmarried couples appear in a hospital to give birth, the father is asked to sign two documents: the birth certificate and the acknowledgment of paternity. Few non-attorneys read the small print on the back of the blue card acknowledging paternity. Most of these fathers are shocked to learn that by signing this document, they acknowledge that the mother has custody of the child absent a court order to the contrary. If these fathers had read the small print, would they still have signed?
At Berlin Family Law Group, we understand the legal complexities as well as the importance of establishing paternity for men in Michigan. In fact, this process can be beneficial for fathers, mothers and children alike. Our attorneys are ready to guide you through the process and help you claim the rights and responsibilities associated with parenthood.
If you are an unmarried father seeking custody or visitation of your child, you may find that you have very few rights until or unless you can establish yourself as the legal father. Establishing paternity is likely a necessary first step if the child’s mother is disputing your relationship to the child.
Conversely, the process of establishing paternity can also benefit mothers who need financial help. If the father of your child denies paternity and refuses to pay child support, the state may need to confirm paternity in order to compel those payments.