A paternity action is similar to a divorce – except the parents were never legally married. A paternity order will address the issues of custody, parent time, child support, and other issues. A paternity order may seem unimportant when the parties are getting along, however, if the relationship breaks down it will become very important, very quickly. Without an order, the parties have equal access to the children. Either party can keep the children from the other party and there is very little to be done without an order signed by a judge.
When the parties are getting along they may be able to craft an agreement which can be turned into an order than explains how they want their co-parenting relationship to be designed. An order crafted by the parties is almost always preferable to an order handed down by the judge because the parties will know the intricacies of their situation, their children and their schedules. It is important to have your proposed order reviewed by an attorney before making it final to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important. It can be a challenge to fix your order once it is signed by a judge.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your paternity matter, please contact an attorney with Preston, Pence & Lisonbee.