Most paternity actions are brought under the Paternity Act, MCL 722.711 et seq. If paternity is not voluntarily established, the party seeking a finding of paternity must file suit in the family division of the circuit court. MCL 722.714(1); see also MCL 600.1021(1)(h). The mother, the alleged father, or the DHS may bring the action. MCL 722.714(1). The plaintiff must allege that the child was born out of wedlock. Girard v Wagenmaker, 437 Mich 231, 470 NW2d 372 (1991). This requirement frequently created a standing problem for a man seeking to establish his paternity when the mother was married to another person during any part of the pregnancy. However, on June 12, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed the Michigan Revocation of Paternity Act into law. The Revocation of Paternity Act, MCL 722.1431 et seq., remedied this problem by allowing an alleged father to bring an action to determine a presumed father is not a child’s father or to set aside an acknowledgment of parentage or an order of filiation.
The new law, which took immediate effect, significantly changes the way paternity is established in Michigan and allows the parties, including the biological father, to assert or challenge paternity under certain circumstances. When each party can file and why is different under the new law. For more details, consult the family law attorneys at Gielow Groom Terpstra & McEvoy.
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