What Are Paternity Cases?

When the mother and father of a child are not married, and are attempting to establish custody, visitation, or child support, the first step to resolve is paternity. Paternity involves establishing the perceived father is, in fact, the father of the child at hand. The petitioner initially files the case to establish paternity, whereby the other party is the respondent.

The legal process for a paternity case begins with the respondent being served with the papers filed by the petitioner, and he or she has 30 days to file a response. If the respondent does not do so, the petitioner may request an entry of default, which is when one party fails to take action. Once this is entered, the case can be finalized without the involvement of the respondent. However, if the respondent does reply in 30 days, the case will continue as either uncontested or contested.

In an uncontested paternity case, both sides are in agreement. They sign and prepare the judgement, and submit to the court for signature. Contested paternity cases mean both sides cannot reach agreement, and thus unsolved issues must be mended by the court. In these cases, the judge makes a decision and gives it to the court for signature. Notably, parentage can be challenged by either parent. For example, if a man wants to contest his fatherhood, he may request a paternity test. Same-sex marriages are no different--a woman served with Form FL-220, which is a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship, may contest her maternal relationship to her partner’s child.

Contact Our Beverly Hills Family Law Attorneys Today

Cary Goldstein, Esq., PC. is comprised of compassionate, reliable, and trusted Beverly Hills family lawyers you can rely on throughout any paternity issues you may be facing. As you can imagine, the parentage law can be quite complex. Therefore, protecting your best interests begins with enlisting in the help of our experienced and skilled legal team--we want to fight for you.

Schedule an initial consultation with a member of our firm by calling (310) 935-0711.