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FAMILY LAW 8: Complaint for paternity, alleging that she was begotten with child by defendant.

Plaintiff conceived a minor child, CF, while she was married to her now-deceased husband. Her husband died three months after CF was born in September 2002. On April 11, 2006, plaintiff filed a complaint for paternity, alleging that she was begotten with child by defendant on or about January 2002. Plaintiff did not allege that CF was “born out of wedlock.” Plaintiff alleged that she gave birth to CF on September 10, 2002 and that defendant was the child’s biological father. Defendant denied that he was the child’s biological father, and no genetic blood testing was ever conducted.

The lower court conducted a trial on October 16, 2006 and thereafter entered an order of filiation declaring defendant to be the father of the child. Over the course of several years after entry of the order of filiation, defendant was delinquent in paying child support, resulting in the issuance of numerous orders to show cause and bench warrants for defendant’s arrest.

In 2010 and 2011, defendant filed motions in the lower court, arguing that the order of filiation should be set aside and the resulting child support obligation should be canceled because he learned that plaintiff had been collecting Social Security survivor’s benefits for the child, as the child of her deceased husband to whom plaintiff was legally married on the date when she conceived the child.

On December 10, 2015, the FOC referee conducted a review of the relevant facts and recommended that the order of filiation be set aside and that the case be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The referee explained as follows: Michigan law is clear that a minor child cannot have two legal fathers. Pursuant to the action filed by the Plaintiff, the Paternity Act . . . provides this Court with subject matter jurisdiction to determine the parentage of a child, ONLY if a child is “born out of wedlock”. Since Plaintiff/Mother was married when the minor child was conceived, the child was not born “out of wedlock”.

Plaintiff objected to the referee’s recommendation, and after a de novo review of the issues, the circuit court issued an order setting aside the order of filiation and dismissing the paternity complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction because plaintiff was married to a man other than defendant at the time the child was conceived and her deceased husband had not been excluded as the child’s legal father.

Do Not Try to Solve a Paternity Dispute Alone

Our family law attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have helped countless family law clients across southeast Michigan, including in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland counties.

If you and your child's other parent are not married and cannot agree on the terms of your custody and visitation arrangements, you will need strong representation to preserve your right to remain involved in your child's life.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

FAMILY LAW 68: The court held that the satisfaction of the statute relating to the termination of parental rights does not necessarily provide clear and convincing evidence in a parenting time dispute that a child will be harmed by reintroduction to

In a separate case, defendant’s parents filed a petition to terminate plaintiff’s parental rights and adopt RM on the ground that plaintiff had been absent from RM’s life for over three years. One month before the petition was...

FAMILY LAW 66: The court affirmed the trial court’s retroactive child support modification as to the second credit to which plaintiff-mother admitted at the referee hearing, and reversed and remanded as to the trial court’s equitable abatement of th

The parties have two children in common, and both children are now adults. The parties were never married, but plaintiff was granted custody and defendant was ordered to pay child support. After the youngest child turned eighteen, defendant sought a...

FAMILY LAW 65: The court held that because the ECE was not altered by the change of school districts, the referee properly applied the preponderance of the evidence standard when reviewing the best interest and parenting time factors.

BASIC FACTS The parties divorced in 2018. Their judgment of divorce provided that plaintiff would have primary physical custody and that the parties would have joint legal custody of the two minor children. The judgment of divorce stated that the...

FAMILY LAW 64: The court reversed the trial court’s order granting joint physical and legal custody of the parties’ children to defendant-father, concluding that the trial court improperly conflated his motion to change custody with plaintiff-mother

The parties divorced in 2013. The judgment of divorce granted mother sole physical and legal custody and ordered that the child’s domicile would remain in Michigan. In 2015, the trial court granted mother’s motion to change domicile,...

5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

Originally posted on 11/08/2019 There are many different levels of crime and the consequences once someone has been charged with them. One bracket of crimes is known as a misdemeanor. Let’s go over this level of crime and some common...

PROBATE 44: The court held that the probate court did not err by declaring a will executed by the decedent invalid on the basis that she lacked testamentary capacity to execute it and that it was the product of petitioner’s undue influence.

Defendant and Decedent met in August 2017. In approximately November 2017, Decedent began talking constantly about wanting Defendant to take her to see an attorney for the purpose of changing her will. On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a petition...

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new law regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

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