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Establishing the rights of the biological father

Just how far Florida would go in equating the rights of the biological father with that of the mother has yet to be established. However, a movement is going on in the state of Michigan that may have impact on establishing paternity in other states as well.

A proposed Michigan statute would allow biological fathers of a child to seek a determination of paternity when the woman is married to another man. It has always been the case in Michigan that the man married to the woman when a child is born is the presumed father. Such a presumption is now being challenged as being unfair and in violation of public policy.

Such legislation would of course go further than making a determination of parentage. The legislation would also provide the presumptive biological father input into how the child is to be raised, and it would also give this individual the right to challenge for custody.

Whether one does or does not agree with this legislation, it is evidence of evolving standards in place when it comes to family law. Some such standards are changing due to modern technology. In the past establishing paternity was much more difficult than it is today. Now we have DNA tests that can prove with more than 99 percent certainty as to who is the actual biological father.

With such changes, parents with questions about such child custody conundrums might find it helpful to speak with an attorney experienced in the family law and child custody area. Such attorneys are accustomed to novel approaches taken in such child custody matters and may at least be able to advise on the best approach.

Though times are changing, the best interests of the child need to remain the most important concern in deciding how child custody and visitations should be arranged. Every child custody dispute is singular and requires individual attention. What would be best for the child needs to be established by the evidence of every single case.

Source: Standard-Examiner, "Unwed father's rights need safeguarding," by Jeffery M. Leving, March 6, 2012

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