DADI Blog

Michigan Paternity

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

Unlike most other states, Michigan law states that Paternity Acknowledgment is a way that an alleged father can be recognized as the child fathers, but this acknowledgment does not establish legal court recognized paternity. But, it may show custody without due process.

In Michigan, the way most popular and common ways in which to show paternity is by the acknowledgment form and filing a legal document with the court stating that you are the father, as long as the mother does not object. Even if you are the child’s birth certificate, that does not automatically deem you the child’s father.

If you need to show proof that you are the father of the child because you wish to be a part of the child’s life, pay child support, have parental rights and visitation rights you may have to file a paternity suit. The suit must be filed in the family division of the circuit court in the county in which the mother and child live. If you are the mother seeking to prove the fatherhood you must do the same. If the alleged father does not live in the same county as you can your child, then you must file the suit in the county in which he lives, or state in which he lives.
 
The person that files the case has the burden of showing proof. They should have information regarding as close as possible, where the mother became pregnant, when the mother became pregnant, that the mother gave birth on a certain date, that the child was born out of wedlock, and that the alleged father is the biological father of the child.

Under the Michigan Paternity Act, a case can be filed while the mother is still pregnant or at any time before the child reaches 18 years of age. If the alleged father is in fact proven to be the biological father the child through genetic testing an Order of Filiation is entered. This order must show support of the child, the reimbursement for all medical expense during the child’s birth, health care insurance, and support for the time prior to the order.

The mother of the child can not refuse any support or financial assistance from the father. If both parents wish to compromise the agreement must include the support and education of the child and the court must approve this agreement. The best interest of the child will be determined by the court.

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Massachusetts Paternity

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

It is presumed in most states that if a couple are married the husband is the legal father of any children born during the marriage. But, when a couple is not married the child has no legal father. So, now comes paternity. Paternity just means the legal father of a child.

You may now be wondering how you can show proof that the alleged father is the father of your child and should step up and take on his responsibilities as a parent. You could also be the father and wish to have your share of parental rights and are afraid that the mother may not allow you to see your child.

If both parents are in agreement to the fatherhood of the child and they are not married they can show paternity in three different ways that are very simple. At the hospital when the child is born, both parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage. If you sign this form while you are still in the hospital you will not have to pay any type of fees. At the City or Town clerk’s office you can also sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage. This form will be notarized and they may charge a fee. If neither one of these options can be met, you can fill a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage any time by filling out the form, and mailing it to the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. There is a $25 fee that should be sent with the form. In this last way, the form can be sent at any time during the child life.

After, this form is filed, there is a type of grace period before it becomes legal. This is the time that if either parent decides the father is in fact not the biological father of the child; either person can file in Probate and Family Court to have the acknowledgment rescinded. When the 60 days are up, the father becomes the legal father of the child and must pay child support, has parental rights and will be able to visit with the child. After the 60 days grace period, a person can still question the parentage up to one year, but you will need a very good reason and will more than likely have to undergo a paternity test to prove otherwise.

A paternity test can be done by either blood test or DNA testing. DNA testing is really very simple and pain free. A cotton swab is used to extract saliva from the alleged father, the mother and the child. You can also ask the court for a paternity test before you sign any type of parentage agreements.

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Maryland Paternity

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

As each state has their own set of laws governing paternity it is wise to find out the state laws before you find yourself without any type of support for your child or you find out you have to pay child support for a child that is not yours.

In Maryland, the law is pretty simple. If a child’s parents are not married the child has no legal father. You will need to prove who the father of your child is before you can receive any help in rearing your child. The first thing you can do if the father is present at the birth of the child is to get him to sign the birth certificate, or a form called an Affidavit of Parentage while you are still in the hospital. If he does not sign it while you are in the hospital you can take a copy with you and have him sign it and mail it to the Division of Vital Records. If you decide to do this at home, each parent must sign the form in front of a notary before mailing it in. The affidavit can be signed at anytime after the birth but it is best to send it in as soon as possible after the birth of the child.

Signing the affidavit is of course up to you. After you have signed the affidavit, the document becomes legal stating you are the parent after 60 days of signing the affidavit. After the 60 days, you no longer have recourse to rebuttal unless you can show in court fraud, duress or a material mistake of fact. This can be very hard to prove unless you agree to DNA and blood tests.

If the father is not around, you can still prove he is the father. The Department of Social Services will be able to help. They will need some information from you regarding his last known address, any letters he has written acknowledging he is the father, etc. They will locate him and if he signs the Affidavit of Parentage, that is all that is needed. If he contests his parentage, the court can order a paternity test to be given. With this test you will only need to provide a saliva sample from yourself and your child. The court will ensure that they get a sample from the alleged father.

After paternity is proven you can then begin to receive child support for your child. If you have been receiving any form of financial aid from the alleged father and he is proven not to be the father you may have to pay him back any money you have received.

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Joint Custody – Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

You may be considering joint custody but you are wondering if it is really the best for you and your children. Every divorce is different as is every family and reason for divorce. Joint custody can and will work if both parents really make an effort to put their children first.

Advantage of joint custody include the chance for the children to keep the binding relationship they already posses with both parents. With joint custody, neither father nor mother is left out of rearing their children and spending quality time with them. It also gives the other parent some relief from being a full time mom and dad. The best reasons are of course that the children will still receive discipline, love and guidance from both parents equally.

With joint custody, there are no custody battles as long as you both can learn to compromise when it comes to the children. You will not have to worry about the non-custodial parent showing the child with presents to earn their love, and the children will also not be able to use one parent against the other as much, since both parents are in agreement over the rules that have been established.
Joint custody also helps the children in the fact that they are not losing a parent or being rejected by one parent. Since, the custody will be shared equally the children understand that both parents love them and want to be a part of their life.

The disadvantages may come as a surprise to some parents. The children may wish for more stability than they are getting by spending half a year one place and half a year another. According to where the parents live, children may be missing their friends, disrupting school activities, and even longing for their belongings left behind. The age of the children has a lot to do with types of problems. Younger children may miss a favorite toy or blanket, while the school age children may not get to be in the games of the little league team. Middle school and high school age can miss out on their school dances, performing in the band, or other after school programs.

As you can see, joint custody can work but it may not be what is right for your family. If the children are old enough and it is possible, the entire family should sit down and discuss the situation including both parents. The idea of joint custody is to give children security and love from both parents without infringing upon the needs of the children to grow, make friends and adjust to the divorce.

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Illinois Paternity

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

We all know how important it is to be a parent and step up to the responsibility that goes along with parenthood. But, many women that give birth without being married need to state who the father is, so they can receive help in raising their children. Other times, men want to prove or disprove they are in fact the father of the child in question. Just because two people are married to one another does not always mean that the husband is in fact the father of the child. There are many cases now, where the husband has found out years later that he has raised a child that was not his own. And many times, the father listed by the mother is not necessarily the biological father of the child.

Whether you are the mother wishing to prove paternity of your child or you are the alleged father wishing to disprove or prove paternity you will need to pay close attention to the law in your state as to the laws that determine paternity. You may find out, it is too late, if you are not the father, to prove that fact. And you will still have to pay child support for a child that is not yours.

The Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 states for “Presumption of Paternity”, the following must be true.
Be married to the mother at the time of conception or birth of the child
If you and the mother are married after the child is born and you are on the child’s birth certificate as the father.
If you and the mother of the child have signed an acknowledgment of paternity

If you intend on reputing the fact that you are the father, you have only 60 days after signing the acknowledgement of parentage.

The best time to state that you are not the father is as soon as possible. Many states are not up to date with their laws on paternity and fathers are finding out too late that they are in fact not the father and they are still paying child support after they learn the truth.

You can file an order with the court for blood tests and DNA testing to prove or disprove your parentage to the child. Just because a woman states who the father is on the birth certificate does not actually mean this is the truth. If you know you are the father of the child and you want your parental rights you can ask for test to be done, so you can have rights to see your child. If you do not believe you are the father, even if you are married you can also petition the court. But, you should seek legal counsel before the child is born and you name is placed on the birth certificate as the father.

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Illinois Paternity

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

We all know how important it is to be a parent and step up to the responsibility that goes along with parenthood. But, many women that give birth without being married need to state who the father is, so they can receive help in raising their children. Other times, men want to prove or disprove they are in fact the father of the child in question. Just because two people are married to one another does not always mean that the husband is in fact the father of the child. There are many cases now, where the husband has found out years later that he has raised a child that was not his own. And many times, the father listed by the mother is not necessarily the biological father of the child.

Whether you are the mother wishing to prove paternity of your child or you are the alleged father wishing to disprove or prove paternity you will need to pay close attention to the law in your state as to the laws that determine paternity. You may find out, it is too late, if you are not the father, to prove that fact. And you will still have to pay child support for a child that is not yours.

The Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 states for “Presumption of Paternity”, the following must be true.
Be married to the mother at the time of conception or birth of the child
If you and the mother are married after the child is born and you are on the child’s birth certificate as the father.
If you and the mother of the child have signed an acknowledgment of paternity

If you intend on reputing the fact that you are the father, you have only 60 days after signing the acknowledgement of parentage.

The best time to state that you are not the father is as soon as possible. Many states are not up to date with their laws on paternity and fathers are finding out too late that they are in fact not the father and they are still paying child support after they learn the truth.

You can file an order with the court for blood tests and DNA testing to prove or disprove your parentage to the child. Just because a woman states who the father is on the birth certificate does not actually mean this is the truth. If you know you are the father of the child and you want your parental rights you can ask for test to be done, so you can have rights to see your child. If you do not believe you are the father, even if you are married you can also petition the court. But, you should seek legal counsel before the child is born and you name is placed on the birth certificate as the father.

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How to Prepare for a Custody Evaluation

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

To prepare for a custody evaluation; you must first asses what is best for your children. Ask yourself what would be best for them and not you. It may be hard when you desire your children to stay with you, to look at the situation objectively. Be sure they know that you both love them very much and that you’re just trying to figure out what is best for them. Realize that the court will only do what is best for the child and the child only! They will assess which parent can take care of them psychologically and emotional along with physically. It will not be about you and your spouse’s problems.

A person sent by the courts will come and talk to everyone in the household. They will be trying to asses what is best for the children. But they will be asking you some questions and watching the way you live and act. The best way to go about this is be honest with them and yourself for your kid’s sake. Be sure to let your family speak with them. Your children will have to talk to them at some point so tell your kids that they just want to have a nice chat with them and tell them to be honest. Do not dictate what your kids say.
Talk to your spouse about this and see where they stand. If you know what they’re thinking and feeling you can do what’s best for you children. You will have to talk to them about what is happening and be sure to tell them that both of you love them and they will still have both parents, only living separately. This will be very confusing for them.

Be sure you prepare for the court battle ahead. You want to present yourself as a loving parent and not someone trying to kill their spouse.

Your family will be more than likely involved in the custody hearing.  Do not tell them what to say or ask them to say certain things. It will only backfire on you and hurt you in court. Be sure to tell them to be honest and show them the person you really are good or bad. This is for your children’s future.

Be sure you have a good lawyer and one that you can talk with honestly. You want to prepare for the long road ahead because these assessments can last from 6 months to a year!

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How to Prepare for a Child Custody Hearing

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

Preparing for a child custody hearing is not an easy task. You will need a good lawyer you who view to be fit and up to the task. But you can only talk to the lawyer about you case if you have a budget. It would be best to hire a lawyer to represent you and your case. Be open with the lawyer and tell them what you want to see happen in your case. They will ask you questions and you must be honest.

You will need some character witnesses. These are people who know you will and have known you for awhile. They have witnessed you with your children at normal times. You will have to tell them when the hearing is and help them prepare what they feel is important for the judge to hear. Do not dictate what they say to the judge.

You will need some important documents with you. You lawyer will tell you exactly what documents you need. It varies from state to state.

In court, everyone will have the chance to speak and ask each other questions. You need to prepare yourself for what you want to say and how you should respond. Court is stressful enough let alone going for the sake of your child. You should try to remain calm. Planning ahead will be your key to your success

If you tell the judge what is it you want and why you should have it, and make all your points clear and summarized. You will be understood by the judge more clearly.

Be sure to be on time for the trial and be prepared for court to last awhile because your case my not be the first one called, you may end up being there for quit some time. Dress nicely; dress as if you were going to church or a job interview. Make sure you know where the courtroom is. Be sure to check in at the clerk’s desk. Make sure all your paperwork is in order and neat.

When you enter the courtroom go to where you’re lawyer is and face the judge. Face the judge when he asks you to stand. When the judge asks you to speak address him as “your honor”

When the trial starts, the judge will ask you to speak and it is very vital to your case that you do not argue or be rude with the judge. If he asks you questions that you don’t understand don’t be afraid to say so. Speak clearly and use words you understand. Stay calm no matter what happens during the case and be sure to make you point heard.
Do not talk about the case to anyone outside and remain professional. Most of all be sure to make it clear that you love your children and say why you want to have them in your life.

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How to Minimize the Effect of Your Divorce on Your Children

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

The best way to minimize the effect of your divorce on your children of course is to have both parents involved as to the children’s scheduling. These can be accomplished if both parents are agreeable and have the children’s best interest at heart. The schedule, that you both must agree on include bedtime, homework, friends, and even what television shows they are allowed to watch. If one parent sets a bedtime of 10pm while the other one has it set for 9pm you are sure to see problems arise. Children need stability and security and when both parents can agree on just some of the basics it will really help the children to understand that both parents are still caring for them in the same manner as before.

The most important thing to remember to help your children is to never under any circumstances, get into disagreements about the children in front of them. Do not think that since they are not in the room that they can not hear. If you do have disagreements and of course you will, it is best to pick a time to discuss these things when the children are at school or over at a friends house.

Children just like adults need to feel loved, appreciated, and need to have self worth. This can be achieved by just a bit of effort on the part of one or preferably both parents. Have your children join different clubs so they can feel good about their accomplishments and be sure that at least one parent is present at their games, practices, or anywhere they need the loving support and admiration of a parent.
Be attentive! You should be able to tell if your child is depressed, showing signs of anger, or if they are becoming reclusive. These are warning signs. Your children will need more attention during this time, so they need to understand that neither parent is leaving them. One parent may live somewhere else but they are only a telephone call away, unless there are reasons that warrant no contact.

Be honest! Be honest with your children. You can answer there questions in an adult manner without bashing your ex-spouse. If they are asking questions about why, the simplest answer is that you both agreed to live separately. Just answer their questions very simply and never go into details that they do not need to know. They are under enough stress by losing a parent.

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How to Help Children Cope with Moving to a New Home

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

Moving for anyone is a stressful time no matter the reason for the move. Moving causes sadness and the feeling of loss. The loss of familiar places, things, and friends is a large part of moving that can bring on many other emotions. The unknown can also bring on many other emotions in both children and adults, not knowing what the new place will be like, will they be able to make new friends, and even wondering about their own belongings. When you compile these emotions along with the feelings that children have over the divorce of their parents you can have a time bomb just waiting to explode.

Children react to moving different according to their ages and their personalities, and children of divorced parents are not just moving to a new location with their parents, they are leaving one parent behind. This can be very traumatic and you will need to help your child during this time express his feelings, allow him to help with the move, and help him make the move an adventure instead of the end of all that he knows and loves.

Giving your children your time and attention is one of the most important things you should do when you are in the process of moving. Take time to play and interact with your child and keep as close to your normal routine that you can. If they have any special teddy bear or toy do not pack that item and be sure they know exactly where the item is.

If they are old enough to help with the moving process allow them to help you pack their belongings, this way they will know what box each of their items are in. It would also be a good idea to allow them to make their own markings on each box, this way they will know that their items are coming and will be able to find them easily.

No matter, the age of the child, many school age children are involved in various activities outside of school and they do no want to leave their friends. You can help with this as well. Go to the new place you are moving, walk around the neighborhood, check out the school and learn about other clubs in the other area they may want to join. Find out about club scouts, girl scouts, what the clubs and activities the school may offer and any other hobbies that your child has been enjoying.

The main thing to remember is to let your child understand that you are also having some of the same feelings, help them to understand that this will be a new adventure for all of you.

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