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Where paternity of a child is in issue, any party in interest, the mother, the father, or the child, can ask the court for a determination. That means a lawsuit can be brought by a private party or by the state. A private action for paternity is usually brought by the mother in order to get support. The state will bring an action through a prosecutor’s office when the mother applies for public assistance in order for the state to be reimbursed for the aid given. 

Paternity Facts

Q: How is paternity established in Michigan?

A:      If you are married to the mother of your child, you are already legally recognized as the father of the child born.  If you are not married to the mother of your child, you can voluntarily acknowledge that you are the child’s father, or a judge can determine who the father is in court proceedings.

Q: Why do I need to establish paternity when I am not married to the mother of my child?

A:       If you do not establish paternity of your child, you have no legal rights concerning that child.

Q: How do I voluntarily acknowledge that I am the father of my child if I am not married to the mother?

A:       Both the mother and father must complete an Affidavit of Parentage which may be done at the hospital.  If you did not do it at the birth, you can be added to the birth certificate for a fee through the State of Michigan.

Q: What if I never completed an Affidavit of Parentage or am not on the birth certificate as the father of my child(ren)?

A:       You may need to establish a paternity action in circuit court.  You should speak to an attorney regarding your specific facts.

Q: Does signing an Affidavit of Parentage give me custody rights to my child?

A: No.  Michigan law provides that the mother has sole physical and legal rights to a child unless there is a court order giving the father of the child custody and parenting time rights.  By signing an Affidavit of Parentage, you have proper standing to change custody or establish parenting time enforceable with the court.

Q:What if I am no longer in a relationship with my child’s mother and she is refusing to let me see my child?

A: You may need to establish a paternity action in circuit court, which will include parenting time.  You should speak to an attorney regarding your specific facts.

Q: What if I am on the birth certificate for a child that is not biologically mine?


You may be able to file an action to revoke paternity depending on certain circumstances.  You must file an action within 3 years from the birth of the child, or within 1 year from when the Affidavit of Parentage was signed.

Q: What types of payments do you accept?

A:   We accept payments in cash, personal check, money orders, cashier checks, and major credit cards.

Q: What are your fee requirements?

A:  You can retain our office for legal representation for a small retainer fee.  We will charge you an hourly fee thereafter for work performed.  Payments are due on a monthly basis, for work performed after the retainer fee is exhausted.

Contact Us


Fax us at 586-580-3011

43120 Utica Road, Ste 200, Sterling Heights, MI  48314

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Attorney Talia Goetting:
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Office Manager Alyssa Perovski: