Recently, Gov. Snyder signed into law Public act 159 of 2012 on June 13, 2012. This law dramatically changes Michigan’s paternity laws in that it now gives biological fathers more rights in determining paternity of children born in a marriage. Under the prior law, children born in a marriage were deemed born in wedlock and if the husband and wife both claimed the child was born during wedlock, the true biological father had no rights to challenge this.
However, the new law gives the biological father more rights and now has a chance to get his day in court. In order to establish paternity, the alleged father (formerly known as the putative father) must file a motion in the court within 3 years of the child’s birth or within 1 year after the date of order of filiation is signed, which ever is later. However, under the act there is a savings clause that will allow a motion to be filed within one year of the effective date of this act. This savings clause is in place regardless of the time constraints listed above. Therefore, an alleged father must file this motion before June 12, 2013.
In order to file an action to determine the presumed father (husband) is not the child’s father, the alleged father must prove:
1) The alleged father did not know or have reason to know that the mother was married at the time of conception
2) The presumed father, the alleged father, and the child’s mother at some time mutually and openly acknowledged a biological relationship between the alleged father and the child.
3) The time limits are met.
In the alternative, the alleged father may try to prove the following:
1) The alleged father did not know or have reason to know that the mother was married at the time of conception.
2) Either of the following applies:
(A) There has been two years of failure to provide regular and substantial support for the child for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the action or non-compliance with a support order.
(B) The time limits are met.
Finally, the alleged father may try to prove both of the following:
1)The mother was not married at the time of conception.
2) The time limits are met.
For more information, visit www.metrodetroitdivorcelawyer.com or call your Metro-Detroit Divorce Lawyer for a free consultation in Macomb County at (586) 439-4297 or in Oakland County at (248) 581-0598. We have offices in Mt. Clemens, Livonia, Southfield, Troy and Rochester.