Paternity is a court action to determine legal custody, physical custody or child support for a child which was born to parents who were never married to each other.
Physical custody involves the day-to-day care of a child and establishes where a child will live. If a parent has physical custody of a child, that parent’s home will normally be the legal residence of the minor child. In Paternity cases, the schedule for which parent provides lodging and care for the child is defined by a court-ordered custody schedule (also known as a “parenting plan” or “parenting schedule”).
Joint physical custody involves a court order that awards custody of a child to both parties. In joint custody, both parents are custodial parents and neither parent is a non-custodial parent; in other words, the child has two custodial parents.
Legal custody involves the division of rights between the parents to make important life decisions relating to their minor children. Legal custody may be joint, in which case both parents share decision-making rights, or sole, in which case one parent is vested with the rights to make those key decisions without regard to the contrary wishes of the other parent.
A Paternity Order is required before one parent can obtain a child support order from the other parent.
Involvement Throughout the Paternity Case
For our full involvement throughout the Paternity Case, the cost is $1,500 up front then $500/month until the case is finalized or our office is no longer involved. There is also a court filing fee which will need to be paid to the court at the time of filing. You will receive full assistance with all paperwork and Ellie’s excellent mediation services to assist you with a Stipulation which replaces the need to attend a hearing. If an agreement cannot be reached our office will file a Motion and request a hearing for the matter to be heard and decided by a judge.
The Paternity process can be discussed in a consultation prior to engaging our services. Contact us to schedule a meeting.