Paternity is a legal action to determine the biological father of a child, typically born out of wedlock. A paternity suit is typically brought by the mother, or the state, accusing a man of being the father of her child to establish a support order to help financially care for the child. If a mother is receiving state assistance, she may be required to pursue financial support from the father of the child. Michigan law does require that children be financially supported by both parents.

However, paternity of a child can be voluntarily acknowledged by the father. Hospital staff can assist with obtaining an Affidavit of Paternity form after a child is born to assist a father in voluntary acknowledging that he is the biological father. The Affidavit of Paternity must be signed by both parents and notarized. Generally, a parent will give up his right to dispute paternity when this form is signed.

When a male is named in a paternity action, he has rights, which include DNA testing to exclude him as the father. If you are served with a paternity suit, you do not want to ignore this matter and be declared a father by default. You need to contact a Michigan family law attorney to assist you in defending your rights and ensuring that a DNA test is done.

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