How do I start a paternity case?

In many cases, when the custodial parent or a child's legal guardian receives state assistance for the child (e.g, medicaid, food stamps, etc.), the Department of Human Services will send a referral to us to establish paternity and a support order, even if the custodial parent has not requested child support. The support money is used to reimburse the state for the coverage and services it spends on the child. The custodial parent must fill out and submit the IV-D Child Support Services Application/Referral form (PDF). It can be submitted by mail to:
Michigan Office of Child Support
Central Functions Unit
P.O. Box 30744
Lansing, MI 48909

You can also use the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) MiChildSupport website portal to apply for child support. In some cases, the custodial parent can call the DHHS Office of Child Support at 866-540-0008 and talk to a Support Specialist. Once your application has been properly filed, your case will then be referred to the Prosecutor's Office's Family Support Division and a case will be opened. The Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney's Child Support and Paternity Specialists can be reached at 517-543-4890, or 517-543-4897.

After your case is opened, you will be mailed an appointment letter. You will likely be asked to bring in some important documents (pay stubs, driver's license, child's birth certificate) on your appointment day. The information will be used to file a lawsuit against the absent parent so it is very important that all requested documents are brought to this initial meeting. A complaint will be prepared and your case will be filed with the court.

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1. What is the Prosecutor's role in establishing paternity in Michigan?
2. Who do I contact at the Eaton County Prosecutor's office?
3. What is paternity?
4. Why is it important to establish paternity?
5. How is legal paternity established?
6. How do I start a paternity case?
7. What happens with the absent parent?
8. How can the father voluntarily acknowledge paternity?
9. Can the Affidavit of Parentage be filed by mail?
10. Is there a fee for filing the Affidavit of Parentage?
11. What if the father refuses to acknowledge paternity?
12. Can a legal father revoke paternity?
13. What if the mother is not sure who her child's father is?
14. When is a DNA test necessary? How is a paternity DNA test done?
15. What does paternity blood testing show?
16. Who pays for the DNA tests?
17. Can the parents do private DNA testing?
18. What happens if the mother or father is not 18?
19. How long after the child is born can paternity be established?
20. When can the father's name be put on the birth certificate?
21. If the parents decide to voluntarily acknowledge paternity, what other steps must be taken?
22. What web sites have Michigan paternity-related information?