Under the law, Michigan fathers have the same rights to co-parenting as mothers. Often, a father may feel as though these rights have been violated. In some cases, the laws that are upheld in a court are antiquated and no longer relevant to a more modern familial structure. Recently, the Michigan Senate approved four bills that would update an outdated law that may violate a father's rights.
The law in question is from 1956. The decades-old law states that a child born during a marriage is a product of that marriage. This becomes a problem when the husband in the marriage is not the biological father of the child, as is the case for at least one Michigan man. The biological father has been prevented from seeing his daughter as a result of the law and wants to see that changed.
The baby's mother was married to another man when she had a child with the father, but they have since divorced. Following the letter of this law, her ex-husband has more custodial rights than the biological father. After a DNA test confirmed the paternity of his daughter, the man asked the ex-husband to relinquish his rights to the girl. The ex-husband has refused to do so.
Last month, the Michigan Senate unanimously agreed to update the old law in order to allow more flexibility in cases such as this one. In the future, a marriage may not cancel out a biological father's rights as a parent. With the increased rate of unmarried couples who are having children lately, this could make it much easier for each parent to have equal rights.
Families have changed significantly since 1956 and the approval to update the old law is certainly a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting fathers' rights. A father who feels as if his rights as a parent are being violated may not always understand the limitations of certain laws. With the help of a legal professional, a suitable solution may be found.
Source: WZZM, "Biological father seeks help gaining parental rights," Matt Campbell, Dec. 16, 2011