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Father fighting archaic Michigan law to see daughter

After years of court battles and lobbying Michigan lawmakers to change a 1956 Michigan statute which states that a woman's husband is legally presumed to be the father of his wife's children, a Michigan man who was prevented from seeing his biological daughter finally got a change to talk to her over the phone nearly three and a half years later.

Even though the mother still has child custody of his daughter, he was thrilled to have any communication with his now six and a half year old daughter. The mother and man were not involved in a divorce or had a child custody issue. They had a relationship in 2006 which resulted in the conceiving of his daughter. At the time the woman was married to another man but was estranged from her husband. Nevertheless, two years later she reconciled with her husband and moved out of Michigan with the girl leaving the Michigan man no recourse.

Even though the man was able to establish paternity through a DNA test and proffered evidence that the woman's husband did not sign the birth certificate, the court applied the 1956 Michigan statute to the facts and, he lost two court battles to regain access to his daughter. Recently, under a new law the court ruled that the Michigan man has legal standing to custody rights.

Child custody issues on both sides of a family are an emotional topic. Many parents face issues pertaining to relocation by one parent, parenting time and visitation rights. With this most recent ruling and recent change in law, parents who have been denied access to their biological children may be able to re-establish ties with them.

It may be helpful for anyone in a similar situation or someone dealing with child custody disputes to contact a family law attorney to understand how the new law may impact them.

Source: The Macomb Daily, "Father's journey to reunite with daughter nearly complete," Chad Selweski, Feb 26, 2013

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