When you father a child with someone in Michigan and the two of you are not in a marriage, you need to establish paternity if you want the same rights over your child that a married father would have. While establishing paternity may benefit you, the child’s father, it also leads to certain advantages for your son or daughter.
Per the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, establishing paternity helps give your son or daughter a stronger sense of identity. It also leads to many other benefits.
Benefits associated with establishing paternity
Establishing paternity helps ensure your child has his or her emotional and financial needs met. It also gives your child inheritance rights and a legal claim to certain benefits, including life insurance policies, Social Security funds, pensions and veterans’ benefits, if you die.
Establishing paternity may also help you secure parenting time or visitation rights for your son or daughter. It may also expand your child’s access to your side of the family, which may benefit him or her in an emotional sense.
The process involved in establishing paternity
As an individual who is not married to your child’s mother, you have two ways to establish paternity in Michigan. If you both agree that you fathered the child, you may establish paternity voluntarily. If there is a disagreement between you, you may ask your local family court to conduct a genetic test to determine if you fathered the child in question.
Research has repeatedly shown that boys and girls benefit tremendously when their fathers are active in their lives.