Paternity petitions revolve around establishing the legitimacy of a minor child born out of wedlock. A situation becoming increasingly common in today's society. Every reasonable presumption will be made in favor of finding a child to be a marital child. Paternity issues arise when the couple separates and the biological mother and biological father go about their separate lives. Sometimes domestic violence issues can arise and a domestic injunction may be needed. Some common conflicts revolve around time sharing and child support. For example, the mother takes the children away from the couples' residence upon separation and refuses to allow the father to see the children until the father begins to pay child support. Many fathers are not aware that they must start to pay child support from the day of official separation if the mother has the children for a majority of the overnight stays.
In a divorce case, a divorce decree or final judgment finalizes the responsibilities and rights of each parent pursuant to a parenting plan. However, if the parents were never married, then a divorce is not possible. Thus, a Paternity action seeks to establish the rights and duties of each parent similar to the finalized divorce.
A Paternity Petition initiates the action similar to that in a divorce. The paternity petition will address whether scientific paternity testing is needed, child support, and time sharing between the parents. The case will proceed to with certain discovery motions and pretrial motions that may be needed in order to have a meaningful mediation. A meditation will then take place where the biological parents will try to resolve their differences in the presence of their attorneys and a court certified mediator. Once the mediation agreement is complete, a Final Judgment of Paternity will address time sharing, child support, and paternity. Paternity Attorney Lazaro Blanco can help guide you through this process so that your legal rights are protected as a biological parent.