21 Oct The Hows and Whys of an Uncontested Paternity Action
What is an Uncontested Paternity Action?
There are a few ways to “legitimize” a child other than marriage. An affidavit acknowledging paternity at the hospital is the most commonly used way. It is required in order to be placed on the child’s birth certificate. It is generally followed by a DNA test to confirm biological relations.
However, the affidavit only establishes that someone is the father. It does not vest any specific rights in regards to that relationship, such as custody, child support, or visitation. In order to moderate those three, it will be necessary to file a Paternity action in Court.
An uncontested paternity action is when both parties agree as to parentage, visitation, custody, and support. It is used when the mother and father have worked out an agreement and simply want that memorialized in the Courts to become enforceable.
Why should we do one?
The biggest reason is that it is enforceable. It is a memorialization of your agreement signed by the Judge and filed with the Court. It can be enforced by either party and can be changed only in certain circumstances. It provides certainty, predictability, and a sense of security with respect to the obligations and parenting time involved in raising the child.
What’s the process like?
For an uncontested paternity, all of the agreement and paperwork is completed on the front end. Your attorney will draft everything and have it signed before the first Court appearance. This will signal to the Judge that it is already completed and should result in the Judgment being signed rather quickly compared to a normal case.
How much does it cost?
It can vary from attorney to attorney. My fee for an uncontested paternity action is $700 flat, payable in two installments. There are also filing fees involved, which will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
What is my next step?
If you are interested in an uncontested paternity action, you can call my office at 314-782-3500 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation on your situation.