Farmington Hills Paternity Lawyer
Assisting Michigan Residents with Paternity Matters
Paternity issues can be legally complex and emotionally charged, but The Law Office of Michael E. Thomas, PLLC, is here to guide you through the process with compassion and expertise. As your trusted Farmington Hills paternity lawyer, we are committed to providing the legal support you need to navigate paternity matters effectively. Whether you are a father seeking to establish your parental rights or a mother pursuing child support, our dedicated legal team is ready to assist you.
Contact The Law Office of Michael E. Thomas, PLLC, today at (248) 266-9779 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our paternity attorney in Farmington Hills!
What is Paternity?
Paternity refers to the legal recognition of a man as the father of a child. Establishing paternity has significant implications for both parents and, most importantly, the child involved. Once paternity is established, the child gains access to financial support, inheritance rights, and, importantly, a relationship with both parents.
In Michigan, paternity cases typically involve determining the biological father of a child. It is essential to distinguish between legal and biological paternity. Legal paternity involves the rights and responsibilities a man has as the recognized father of a child, regardless of biological ties. Biological paternity, on the other hand, is concerned with genetic relationships.
Establishing Paternity in Michigan
Michigan provides several methods for establishing paternity:
- Voluntary Acknowledgment: This is the simplest way to establish paternity. Both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP) form at the hospital when the child is born or later at the local clerk's office. This form legally recognizes the father as the child's parent.
- Court Order: If the mother and father do not agree on paternity, either party can request a court order to establish paternity. The court may order genetic testing to determine biological paternity.
- Paternity by Estoppel: In some cases, if a man has acted as the child's father for a significant period, the court may establish paternity based on the principle of paternity by estoppel. This means the court recognizes the man as the father because of his prior actions, regardless of biological ties.
- Marriage: If the child is born to a married couple, the husband is legally presumed to be the father. However, if there is a question about paternity, it may still need to be legally established.
- Legal Presumption: Sometimes, the law may presume a man is the father if he was married to the child's mother within ten months before the child's birth or if he has supported the child somehow.
- Child Support Case: Paternity can also be established through a child support case. If a mother applies for public assistance or requests child support services, the state may initiate paternity proceedings to determine the father's identity.
Our experienced Farmington Hills paternity lawyer, Michael E. Thomas, can help you navigate these legal processes, ensuring your rights and your child's best interests are protected.
How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity?
In Michigan, there is no statute of limitations for establishing paternity. This means a father can assert his parental rights anytime, shortly after the child's birth or many years later. However, it is generally advisable to address paternity matters promptly to ensure the child's emotional and financial needs are met.
Establishing paternity early can also provide the child with a sense of security and identity and access to benefits such as health insurance, social security, and inheritance rights. Moreover, it allows for the development of a meaningful parent-child relationship.
If you are a father concerned about paternity or a mother seeking to establish paternity for child support or other reasons, don't hesitate to contact The Law Office of Michael E. Thomas, PLLC. We understand the importance of these matters and are ready to provide you with the legal guidance and support you need.
Contact Our Farmington Hills Paternity Attorney Today
Paternity matters can be complex, but our dedicated Farmington Hills paternity lawyer, Michael E. Thomas, will guide you through the process. Whether you seek to establish paternity, contest paternity claims, or address related issues such as child support and custody, our experienced legal team is committed to advocating for your rights and your child's best interests.
Contact The Law Office of Michael E. Thomas, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation with our paternity lawyer in Farmington Hills!