The Financial Liability of Parents for Children Born Out of Wedlock
Pursuant to MCL 722.712, the parents of a child born out of wedlock are liable for the necessary
support and education of the child. They are also liable for the child's funeral expenses.
Based on each parent's ability to pay and on any other relevant factor, the court may apportion, in the same manner as medical expenses of the child are divided under the child support formula, the reasonable and necessary expenses of the mother's confinement and expenses in connection with her pregnancy (i.e. the birth expenses) between the parents.
The court may require the parent who did not pay the birth expenses to pay his or her share of the birth expenses to the other parent. At the request of a person other than a parent who has paid the expenses of the mother's confinement or birth expenses in connection with her pregnancy, the court may order a parent against whom the request is made to pay to the person other than a parent the parent's share of the expenses.
If a pregnancy or a complication of a pregnancy has been determined in another proceeding to have been the result of either a physical or sexual assault by a party to the case, the court shall apportion these expenses to the party who was the perpetrator of the assault.
If medicaid has paid the confinement and pregnancy expenses of a mother under this section, the court shall not apportion confinement and pregnancy expenses to the mother. After the effective date (i.e. October 1, 2004) of the amendatory act that added this subsection, based on the father's ability to pay and any other relevant factor, the court may apportion not more than 100% of the reasonable and necessary confinement and pregnancy costs to the father.
If medicaid has not paid the confinement and pregnancy expenses of the mother under this section, the court shall require an itemized bill for the expenses upon request from the father before an apportionment is made.
The court order shall provide that if the father marries the mother after the birth of the child and provides documentation of the marriage to the friend of the court, the father's obligation for payment of any remaining unpaid confinement and pregnancy expenses is abated subject to reinstatement after notice and hearing for good cause shown, including, but not limited to, dissolution of the marriage. The remaining unpaid amount of the confinement and pregnancy expenses owed by the father is abated as of the date that documentation of the marriage is provided to the friend of the court.
This means that if the parents of the child are married and the father continues to pay confinement expenses, only the unpaid confinement expense will be abated at such time that the father actually provides the Friend of the Court with documentation of the marriage.
Each confinement and pregnancy expenses order entered by the court on or before the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection shall be considered by operation of law to provide for the abatement of the remaining unpaid confinement and pregnancy expenses if the father marries the mother and shall be implemented under the same circumstances and enforced in the same manner as for the abatement of confinement and pregnancy expenses as discussed above.
The court shall admit in proceedings under this act a bill for funeral expenses, expenses of the mother's confinement, or expenses in connection with the mother's pregnancy, which bill constitutes prima facie evidence of the amount of those expenses, without third party foundation testimony.
If the father dies, an order of filiations or a judicially approved settlement made before his death is enforceable against his estate in the same manner and way as a divorce decree.
As referenced above, “medicaid” means the medical assistance program administered by the state under section 105 of the social welfare act, 1939 PA 280, MCL 400.105