How to Establish Paternity Actions in California
Paternity actions, also commonly referred as parentage actions, are legal actions meant to determine who gets custody over a minor child. In the state of California, these proceedings follow a given procedure. To ensure that your parentage action California is successful, it is important to follow the procedure outlined below as recommended by the California Courts website.
Steps Followed in a Parentage Action California
Fill out the Forms in Paternity Actions
First and foremost, you will need to collect the relevant forms and fill them out. It is important to ensure that the forms are filled out correctly in your capacity as the petitioner. For parents who want to request orders for child custody and visitation, they must fill out additional forms to attach to their Petition in order to make these requests to the court. Additionally, in order to request child support, the court requires parents to submit additional attachments to the Petition, including financial disclosures necessary to calculating child support.
The next step in paternity actions California is to have all of the forms reviewed. It is recommended that you have the forms reviewed to ascertain that the information filled in is correct and sufficient for the proceedings. This can be done by a family law facilitator. Alternatively you can hire a qualified lawyer for the entire duration of the proceedings or for the important parts when necessary.
Once the forms have been have been reviewed and the accuracy of the information corrected, you can then create two copies. The Original form will be filed with the court; one copy will be served on the other parent; and the final copy will be kept safely in your custody.
File the Paternity Actions Forms
The next step in your California Parentage action is getting the forms filed with the court. It is necessary to have all the forms filed and stamped with the word filed. The original copy is left with the court while one copy is meant to be delivered to the other parent, and the other kept as your copy. It is important to note that the court usually charges a filing fee. If you cannot afford this charge, you can apply for a fee waiver.
Serving the other Parent
Since you are the one establishing the case, you must have an adult over the age of 18, and not a party to the case, deliver the stamped copy in person to the other parent. The forms have to be delivered with other blank Response forms in accordance to the application you have made in court. This step is usually among the most challenging in the parentage action case in California. Once the papers are served, you will have to fill out a proof of service form.
Once the other parent receives the petition, they have a maximum of 30 days to file a formal response with the court. It is important to note that the course of action will be determined by the other parent’s response at this point.