My wife had a child before we were married though I have raised him almost my entire life and he knows me as his dad.
Even if there has been nothing formally filed or recorded that declares you to be the father of the child (you didn’t adopt the child or obtain some type of guardianship over the child), you might be able to establish that you have a right to parenting time for that child.
In the state I practice in (Michigan), the Child Custody Act allows the court to award parenting time to people other than the natural or adoptive parents of a child.
Many states recognize the important relationships that children create with grandparents, stepparents, or other family members, and it certainly is in the best interest of the child to preserve those relationships.
Please note that I am not able to give you legal advice without having thoroughly reviewed your case, and therefore you should not rely on this information as an establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
If you need detailed information or advice, or wish to take specific action in this matter, you need to contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients and nationwide.
Tamara Hoffstatter is an attorney in the Troy, Michigan, office of Cordell & Cordell where she exclusively practices family law.