A paternity action isn’t very different from a divorce. A divorce decree will cover issues not in a paternity order, such as the division of property, debts and assets. Both the divorce decree and the paternity order will cover child custody (legal and physical), parent time, holidays, child support, medical expenses, daycare expenses, and tax deductions.
Both divorce cases and paternity cases begin with a Petition and an Answer. The next step in most cases is mediation. If mediation is mandatory both parties are required to attend mediation and the parties typically share the cost of the mediator equally.
Mediation is a great place for the parties to try and solve their issues on their own. A decision the parties reach on their own is almost always better than a decision by a judge. Judges don’t tend to be very creative – whereas the parties know their own situation and can figure out a plan that reaches the needs of their particular families. Before you sign anything that is binding and final, please consult an attorney. 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.