Michigan men concerned with paternity issues, beware

Many men in Michigan and beyond are currently navigating child custody proceedings, either as married men in the midst of divorce or single men who were never married to the other parent of the child in question. For various reasons, a family court judge might order a DNA test regarding specific paternity issues. As a case that unfolded in another state makes evident, it is important for anyone taking such tests to confirm that the results are accurate.

Approximately 20 years ago, a man who is now in his early 30s was a 12-year-old boy whose parents were going through child custody proceedings. At the time, the judge overseeing the case ordered the boy’s father to take a DNA test to establish paternity. The entire family was shocked and distressed when the test results showed that there was zero chance the man in question was the boy’s biological parent.

The boy and his previously believed to be father became estranged. Two decades later, a relative of the boy (now a man) was conducting ancestry research when she discovered that the man who was ruled out was, in fact, a blood relative of hers. This prompted new DNA testing where results showed with 99.999% certainty that the man was the biological parent of the boy who has since become an adult. It was determined that the initial test results had been in error and samples given at the time possibly mixed up with another family’s DNA sample.

This situation prompted litigation. Michigan parents preparing for child custody proceedings that may include a court-ordered DNA test will want to be aware that such tests are not always accurate. A mistaken result may have a significant negative impact on a child custody case. A parent concerned about such issues may wish to discuss his or her case with an experienced family law attorney before heading to court.