Jones law used to determine custody
LANSING—A Fenton father was granted custody of his biological daughter on Monday, a situation that was made possible as a result of legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones.
“It took a few years, but all of the hard work of Sen. Steve Bieda and me was validated today,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge.
Public Acts 160-162 of 2012 allow possible biological fathers to file a petition to determine paternity under certain circumstances. Prior to these laws being enacted, state law did not give a possible biological father legal standing to file a paternity action to show he may be the biological father of a child born to a married woman.
The laws sponsored by Jones, allow biological fathers to claim parental rights within a year of their child’s birth if the mother is married at any time from conception to the birth of a child and her husband denies paternity, or if a relationship is established between the biological father and the child. The measure also gives judges the ability to rule what is best for the child on a case-by-case basis.
Bieda and Jones both agreed that the archaic law needed to be updated to allow for common sense, technological advances, and most importantly, the welfare of the child to all be factors when deciding what is best for the child.
According to Jones, the measure was introduced following the tragic story of Fenton father, Daniel Quinn, who has been fighting to obtain parental rights of his child.
Prior to these bills being signed into law, Quinn, the biological father, had no rights under Michigan law to gain custody of his child.
“I was extremely happy to see this father and child reunited,” Jones said. “I know this updated Paternity Act will help empower parents to seek a relationship with their children in the future.”