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« Who Gets to Keep the Family Pet? Custody of Fido | Main | Can a dad be ordered to pay support if he's been deprived of a relationship? »


Jeanne M. Hannah

Adam, you need to read the blog post at this URL and see if a recent change in Michigan law will help you. There is a deadline. The new law only will help you if you file a petition to disestablish parentage prior to June 12, 2013.

Please let me know if I can help you with this.

Adam Sharpe

When married to my ex wife I did my first tour in Iraq which lasted an entire year. I have dates to prove when I was gone. She cheated on me, and became pregnant while I was in Iraq. When I came back state side I heard she was pregnant and filed for a divorce. The divorce went through 3 days after the baby was born. I was put on the babys birth certificate as father even though the baby was named after the biological father. He doesnt even carry my last name. He is now 7yrs old. I have never met him nor have I seem my ex in over 7 yrs since I was deployed. Here is my problem. My ex has since had 3 more children and is on government assistance. The state of MI is now coming after me for child support even though both my ex and I told them I'm not the father. I live in Hawaii and my wages are due to be garnished in less than 21 days for a total of $700/ mo. I currently have 1 child with another due in July. I'm not sure what to do now. Im very upset because of the fact that while I was fighting to protect the freedom of the country I was screwed over by my ex, and now being punished for HER miss doings by the state of MI. What can I do as to not have to pay this support?

karen brown

I was separated from my husband five years before my daughter was born. We are now divorced, and my daughters father signed her birth certificate. we just learned about the law. Do we have to petioned anything in court to say that my ex husband is not my daughter,s father?

Jeanne M. Hannah

Publicity; thoughtful comment; communication with your state representative. These are ways to help see that legislation is enacted into law.

Best wishes.

Cristie Oost

My brother is just beginning his case as the biological father of his child in which the mother was legally married (but separated)to another man. He reached out to his local tv station and was given this interview. He has a lawyer that is doing as much as he can under the current laws. Is there any advise you can give us to help push the proposed bills through in order to allow him to at least be able to legally fight for his daughter? I have attached the link to his story below.

Thank you!
Cristie Oost

Jeanne M. Hannah

Alex, there are two ways that you could become the legal father to this child: (a) marry the mother and (b) sign an acknowledgment of paternity. Since acknowledgments can sometimes be set aside, your safest bet is marriage. Both are huge commitments (getting married or deciding to be a father).


My Girlfriend found out she was 8 weeks pregnant with another man after we were dating for almost 2 weeks. The biological father wants absolutely nothing to do with her or the unborn child, after asking her if "she is going to take care of it" and then to fall down a flight of stairs. We have been together ever since and she is now 34 weeks along. I want to be this child's father and that is the plan for the three of us. We want the biological father to be completely out of the picture. I am going to be the father in every other way. What do we have to do/sign to make this happen? Just put my name on birth certificate? Or some sort of affidavit that I've seen searching for an answer on the internet? Please help with some good news on how we can accomplish this! Thank you!

Jeanne M. Hannah

Edmund, there is legislation pending now that would give you standing to seek parenting time. You can read more about that on the post found here:

Edmund Stewart III

I have recently learned about this law through my lawyer. This law is old and outdated and its a shame that many good father's are being denied. My son was born while his mother was married. She got the divorce but her and the husband secretly divided custody with out me knowing. I had a independent DNA test done and it came back 99.98% that he was mine. I have been fighting for custody and it hurts everyday not being able to talk to him or see him. My lawyer told me that under this stupid act that I have no paternal rights. Its a shame that the state can't do the right thing!


I am in a situation where I have given birth to a son that is not my husbands. We have been separated for 2 years and I began a relationship with other man. The biological father has requested a DNA test. The problem I am having is that I had to file domestic assault charges and an order of protection against the biological father. He has a history of violence toward women and children. No I was unaware before I pursued a relationship with him. This has been a complete nightmare and I have to answer the summons soon. I do fear for my infants well being if this man has any legal rights to him.

David Carmon

Thank you for writing back. I have not seen my children in over a month and I have never gone more than a few days without seeing them. Now I may never see them again. I thank you so much for taking the time to discuss my situation.

I have contacted all of the state senators about the parenting act and senate bill 0197. A few wrote back and referred me to senator Cassis and I wrote to her as well. I also wrote to Barack Obama, Jennifer Granholm, Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow and Thaddeus McCotter.

I will telephone you to schedule a conference asap. I will do anything in my power to see my children again.

Jeanne M Hannah

David, the facts of every case determines the final result. The facts in your case are unique since the legal father has disappeared. There is legal action that could be taken to oust the "legal father" and to establish parentage for you. This is somewhat complicated, and you will need to telephone my office to schedule a conference with me. Jeanne

David Carmon

I am in a similar situation. I am the biological father of 4 children. In 2007 I filed for custody for 3 of the children and was awarded joint custody and an order for child support and parenting time was entered.

May 3, 2010 I filed an emergency motion for temporary custody at Oakland County Circuit Court. The judge told me she could not award me custody because the childrens mother is married to another man and she was married at the time our children were conceived. This is how I learned of the "Paternity Act".

The judge threw the custody case away like it was never there. I was told I have NO RIGHTS to my kids. It was not her fault, but a fault of the state of Michigan. This Paternity Act is hurting my children. The "legal father" tried to divorce the mother of my children in 2007 and in those divorce papers he denies that my children are his biological children. Because the children have my DNA. They are my biological children. Now the "legal father" cannot be found.

I feel helpless and my children are hurting. I have been in their lives since the day each one of them were born. From cutting the umbilical cord, to enrolling them in school and being the best dad I can possibly be. And now I am told I am no longer a father.

It does not matter that the courts know I am the father. This Paternity Act prevents them from helping me. The judge was going to award me custody of my biological children, but she could not because of this Paternity Act. It does not matter that I was awarded joint custody. I was told the case should have never gotten that far. Well, why did it get that far?

I am begging for someone to help me and my children. I need this bill passed:

Jeanne M Hannah

Kim, your daughter's ex-husband might be the legal father, but he can fight the paternity and demand DNA testing. When the DNA testing shows he is not the biological father, then he can "dis-establish parentage."


I'm just finding out about this law, I wish I had know before. My daughter and grandson is in early stage of a yelky case.
My daughter seperated from her husbusd, she always wanted a 2nd child, so she found out about "getting sperm from an unknown donor, thru artifically insementing. She soon became pregnant this way, she filed for devorce, however it was not final until after the baby was born. she then loss her job, no insurance, so she turned to the state for help. now the state is demanading to know her husband info, they say he is responsible, Ex husband is not happy, and neither is my daughter. they are going to seek legal councel.

Jeanne M Hannah

Hello Carlos,

Your question is timely and also somewhat difficult to answer because every case is dependent upon its own specific facts. Given the complexity of the topic, I will address this is a separate post.

Jeanne M Hannah


This is a sad story and the first time I've heard of Michigan's laws regarding the biological father's rights to children of mother's that are married to another man. I find it amazing and an egregious miscarriage of justice that a mother need only marry days before the birth of a child to terminate the biological father's rights. I'm curious to know what happens if such a marriage ends in divorce. Can the biological father, who has not been permitted to visit or bond with his child, now be called upon to pay child support or is it the responsibility of the step father who, presumably, acted as the child's father legally and actually?

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