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William J. Reisdorf, P.C. – Family Law Attorney

office:  248-689-6996
mobile:  248-766-4484
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How Does Paternity Work in Michigan?

by William J. Reisdorf, JD, your Michigan Fathers Custody Attorney


When we speak of “paternity” we are usually talking about a potential father who is not married. As for married people, when a man's wife gets pregnant, the law “presumes” that the child is the biological issue of him. For single men and women, a Court or at least a legal document must be involved.


There are two ways for a single man to become a “legal father.”


A)  Start a “paternity case” in the county circuit court, asking the court to order DNA tests and adjudge you as the father, OR allow the mother to start the case herself. She can get the local prosecutor to do this for free, if she has the child in her care.




B)  Sign an “Affidavit of Parentage” with the mother. This is a form signed typically at the hospital when the baby is born, declaring that you are the father and she is the mom.


Which method is good for you? Answer: It depends. Most likely, this choice has already been made for you. The most common thing a single man faces is a call or a letter from the local prosecutor, saying that “paternity papers“ are waiting for you and you are requested to come in.


It is essential that you call an experienced custody attorney before you go in! If you sign any papers before you confer with an attorney you will have difficulty getting the proper custody and parenting you want. You might also have an incorrect support amount instituted against you. If you have any doubts about the actual paternity, you must demand a DNA test.


The decisions regarding signing an Affidavit of Parentage are equally difficult. One thing you should know. If you have any possible doubt that you are the father, then don’t sign the Affidavit. In signing, you will waive your right to a DNA test and this you may not want to do.


Do you think you might be a single father? Have you gotten papers in the mail? You must protect yourself and call an experienced father’s custody attorney to get answers! Call me at 248-766-4484 for a no obligation phone or live consultation. This is important!




Representing fathers and mothers in divorce, child custody, parenting time (visitation), child support, spousal support, and other family law matters in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland County Michigan.