The Oceana County Prosecuting Attorney, Family Support Division, receives referrals from the Office of Child Support to establish paternity and support cases.
Many referrals are received because public assistance is received and the parents do not reside together. To receive assistance the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) require the parties to cooperate with child support services unless they have reason to apply for good cause with the MDHHS caseworker. (To apply for public assistance online use the following link: MiBridges.)
Public assistance is not required to receive child support services. To apply for child support services please fill out the online request at the MiCase website.
If a parent elects not to pursue a child support order against the other parent, then MDHHS may declare the parent as uncooperative and terminate governmental assistance. If a child support order is obtained then the government may collect from the paid support a portion to compensate for governmental provided assistance, including any birthing expenses incurred.
Types of cases:
- Paternity – “legal” father.
- In Michigan, paternity is established by marriage presumption (a child conceived or born within a marriage), Affidavit of Parentage (AOP), or legal determination via court order.
- Support – both parents are liable for support if they are not residing with the minor child. A child support action is filed between legal parents to obtain a court order requiring the absent parent to pay child support for the minor child(ren).
- Interstate – support or paternity cases are sometimes filed as an interstate case due to the parents residing in different states and the state in which the child resides does not have jurisdiction over the non-custodial parent.
Our office cannot file custody cases, we can only file paternity and support cases in which custody and parenting time may be ordered. In some instances, custody and parenting time are not addressed either because there is an existing neglect abuse, guardianship order, or it is an interstate case in which Michigan lacks jurisdiction to address the issues of custody and parenting time.
Our office is only required to allow for two appointments. If the custodial parent fails to appear for the second appointment and receives public assistance our office policy is to mark them as non-cooperative in which their benefits will be sanctioned until they do cooperate. If there is no assistance involved we will close out the referral and custodian will have to reapply for services to get a new referral sent.
If genetic testing is requested our office will schedule the genetic test collection. The sample collection is completed by buccal swabs. If one of the parties lives in another state we will request a facility associated with our testing company DNA Diagnostics Center.
What to expect:
- Parties must bring picture identification and social security cards to the collection to ensure that we are collecting the correct parties.
- Thumbprints of all parties, including child will be completed.
- Pictures of all parties will be taken.
- Swabs of mouths of mothers, alleged father and minor child will be collected.
- Turnaround time is usually 2 weeks after all specimens have been collected.
- Results will come back either at 0%, meaning the alleged father is excluded from being father or at 99% or above, meaning that alleged father is the child’s biological father.
- Results will be mailed to parties. Our office does not release the results over the phone as we cannot guarantee one of the parties are on the other end of the line.
- A fourteen (14) day objection period is required by Michigan law before any other hearing can be scheduled.
- 99% or above if no response or objection with 14 days a hearing will be schedule unless a hearing is already schedule in that case.
- 0% if no response or objection within 14 days the case will be dismissed without prejudice.
All hearings before an order is entered will be held in the probate courtroom.
What to expect:
- The case will be called by case number and parties names.
- The prosecutor will recite to the judge what our office is requesting via child support, ordinary health care, genetic testing fees, DNA testing, etc.
- The parties will be sworn in and asked if they have an objection to what our office has requested.
- The Judge will listen and ask questions of all parties as well as the Prosecuting Attorney before making his decision.
- If a Judgment of Support/or Filiation is entered all parties will receive copies of the orders in the mail at their last known mailing address.
The Circuit Court Office handles enforcement of the birth record fee.
If you have any questions regarding our process that is not addressed above, please feel free to contact Child Support Paralegal, Kari Cordo, at (231) 873-6749.