You never got married, but you had a baby. That child is the most important thing in the world to you. You want to make sure your child is protected. Maybe you and the other parent got along great for years, and now you just cannot work it out among yourselves any more. Maybe the two of you lived together and you just broke up. All of the sudden, you can no longer visit with your own child! Maybe you are worried that if you let the other parent visit without a court order, he or she won't give the baby back. What are you supposed to do? Your child is most precious to you. How do you protect your children? How do you get money to help support them? How can you keep your children out of the middle?
Children are expensive to raise. How are you both supposed to afford to support the children. What if you need daycare- who pays? What if you don't like the other parent's babysitter- can you object? Parents worry about their children. Problems need to be solved. You are no longer together, but you still share a child. You need help learning how to cooperate for the sake of your child's future.
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.