In family law, a “Paternity” action is now called a Parentage action. A Parentage / Paternity case is opened when a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship is filed. This Parentage Petition is necessary when unmarried persons have children and need to establish that either party is the parent of the child, need child custody orders, child visitation orders, and/or child support orders. Married persons seeking custody and visitation orders because they are divorcing do not file a Parentage case. Instead, married persons (or those in a domestic partnership) should seek orders through a Dissolution case. In unique circumstances, married people who want custody and visitation orders, but who do not want to get divorced, can file a Miscellaneous Petition for Child Custody and Support.
Our family law attorney, Heather A. Lewis, has nearly a decade of experience in Parentage / Paternity cases negotiating child custody agreements, and fighting custody actions for parents like you. Whether it is a dispute over school enrollment, visitation schedules, move-away actions, or medical treatment, attorney Heather A. Lewis always fights for what’s best for her clients and their children.
- “My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.” –Michael Jordan
When a relationship doesn’t pan out, or other circumstances cause a custody dispute involving your kids, it’s important to establish orders. Orders in a Parentage / Paternity case set forth your legal rights and the rights of your co-parent as they relates to raising your children. The best way to prevent unnecessary conflict as you raise your child is to have a clear and well-written set of orders in your Parentage case that you can both understand and follow. Children may feel that the separation of their parents is somehow their fault, or that they were the cause of the split, and it’s important that children know that even though their parents aren’t together as a couple – they can still work it out when it comes to being parents. Family law attorney Heather A. Lewis will guide you through important issues that might come up in your Parentage case, like:
- How do I get a case started?
- How will we share our time with our child? What about school breaks and holidays?
- Are there safety issues that we need the court to address? (Alcohol abuse, corporal punishment, domestic violence, etc.)
- Who will make day-to-day decisions for issues like school enrollment, medical treatment, or extracurricular activities?
- Are there any people who our children should have restricted/no contact with?
- Who will provide transportation for visits? Where will we meet?
- Should I receive child support? Do I need to pay child support?
- What about help with attorney’s fees so I can pay for this?