Q: I was never married to the father of my baby, but his name is on the birth certificate. Does he have any rights?

A: The mother of the child is presumed to have custody of a child born out of wedlock until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise. The father does not have the right of custody or parenting time without the mother's agreement. However, unless the child is in danger, it is not advisable to deny parenting time to a responsible father, as the children have an inherent right to a close relationship with both parents. If you anticipate disagreement over custody or parenting time with the father of your child, you should talk to an attorney about how to establish longterm custody and a parenting time plan that is consistent with the best interests of the children.

For more information about child custody in Michigan, click here.