Have you recently been served with a paternity case? Are you unsure where to even start? If so, you aren’t alone. There are many things you need to know and understand to help you get through this process without stress.
The first step is to talk to our legal team and bring along the Complaint. We can answer any questions you may have regarding your paternity case.
Read All the Papers for Your Paternity Case Summons
Carefully read through all the paperwork that was given to you when you were served. Some of the papers you should have received include:
- Complaint to Establish Paternity
- Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage
- Complaint about Custody-Support-Parenting time
Depending on the situation, you may also receive documents for motions for visitation rights, parenting time, or a temporary custody order. The summons is going to provide information including the amount of time you have to file an “answer” for the Complaint. The complaint included provides you with information on who filed this case, along with why they believe they are your child’s father, and his desired outcome.
At the bottom of the Complaint, you will see what the individual wants from the legal case – custody, visitation, or parenting time.
Writing an Answer to the Complaint
The way you answer a complaint is going to guide the entire process. Make sure to study the Complaint carefully. Every sentence is given a number to help ensure your answers are organized.
Use a separate piece of paper to record if you “deny” or “admit” each of the numbered sections on the Complaint. An example of this would be if you agree that the person filing the complaint is actually the father of your child and if you agree they can have parenting time. If you have questions about how to write your answer, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer to help you do this properly.
File Your Answer at the Probate or Family Court Listed on Your Summons
After you have filled out the complaint fully, you have to file it to the probate or the family court that is listed on the summons. Make sure to speak with a family law attorney before you file these documents to ensure everything has been filled out properly.
It’s a good idea to take your answer to the clerk’s office at the court, or you can choose to mail it to the court that is listed. If you take the summons yourself, this is going to be the fastest option.
You have 20 days to submit your answer after you have been served the Complaint and it doesn’t cost anything to file your answer. If you go to the court for filing your answer, be sure to request the “Docket Number” of your case so you can put it on the answer or any other documents you are filing.
Call an Attorney for Help
If you need help handling this process, have questions, or just want some guidance, reach out to our professional and knowledgeable legal team at Lewert Law, LLC by calling (561) 220-2441. We can help ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible.