Paternity Lawyers -- St. Joseph, MI.

Serving Benton Harbor, Bridgman, Berrien Springs & The Greater Southwest Michigan Area

At The Law Offices of Mais & Sible, Attorneys at Law, we understand the importance of family relationships. We realize that many families will never be faced with the legal challenges of establishing a child's parentage. Those who do face such concerns, often require skilled legal assistance to protect their rights & their child's best interests. We regularly work with both fathers and mothers to establish legal parent-child relationships that can offer benefits to all involved parties.

Paternity Attorneys in Berrien County MI.

According to Michigan law, a man is considered to be a child's legal father if he was married to the child's mother when the child was conceived or born. If he was not married to the mother at either of those times, the child is considered to have been "born out of wedlock." The parents of a child born out of wedlock have two primary options for establishing the man's paternity.

The 1st option is the easiest and it involves both parents completing an Affidavit of Paternity. This can be done for free at the hospital when the child is born, or the Affidavit may be completed at a later date with additional fees applying. Completing the Affidavit of Paternity is voluntary, but it does allow a man to become the child's legal father, with all of the rights and responsibilities that entails. If there is any uncertainty regarding the child's parentage, signing the Affidavit may not be advisable.

The 2nd option for establishing paternity is considered "involuntary" and is done through the family court system. The child's mother or alleged father may initiate a paternity action, as well as the Michigan Department of Human Services if the child receives public assistance. Genetic testing may be ordered to establish a biological link between the man and the child. If the court is satisfied that the man is the child's father, an Order of Filiation will be entered to legally recognize the relationship.

Fathers' Rights Lawyers

If you are a father who has not established legal paternity regarding your child, you have no rights related to child custody or parenting time. You may not even have the legal standing to request such rights.  The Law Offices of Mais & Sible, Attorneys at Law is ready to help you change that reality. We believe that your child should be entitled to receive attention, love, & support from both parents, regardless of the relationship between the adults. Once paternity is established, we will continue to work with you in pursuit of additional rights that can foster a strong parent-child bond.

Unwed Mothers Paternity Lawyers

Not all fathers are willing to accept their responsibilities voluntarily. If you are a mother who is struggling to raise your son or daughter alone, you should at least be able to count on financial support from the child's father. Orders for child support for unmarried parents begin with the establishment of legal paternity. Establishing paternity may also qualify your child for certain benefits and inheritance rights through the fathers as well. We know how tough it is to be a single parent, and we are equipped to provide the skilled representation you need.

With over 30 years of combined family law experience, we have the tools to help you and your family through any paternity legal matters.

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