A California paternity suit is an action filed in court when two people were never married, but have children together. A paternity suit is filed in the same court as a divorce action. This court is called the family court. (The local courthouse that handles these types of cases in the Temecula and Murrieta areas is located in Hemet.)
Unlike a divorce proceeding, a paternity case can only deal with a limited number of issues. For instance, the court cannot address any issues of property division. It can only address the identity of the parents of the child, custody, visitation, and child support. The court process usually takes about three months to complete.
If the alleged father admits the child is his, the court will often enter a judgment for paternity at the first court hearing. Otherwise, a paternity test will be ordered and the parties will return to court after they receive the results. Once the court makes orders, it has the power to change those orders until the child reaches adulthood. This typically requires a showing of a change of circumstances.