Paternity Actions are reserved for parties who share a child but are not married. Contrary to popular belief, a father’s name on the child’s birth certificate is not sufficient to legally establish paternity. Generally, at the conclusion of a paternity action, paternity will be legally established, acknowledging that father is the natural and biological father of the child, parental responsibility will be established which gives the father equal rights and access to the child, and a time-sharing schedule and Parenting Plan will be created.
Similar to a Parenting Plan in a dissolution of marriage case, the paternity Parenting Plan will outline the time-sharing schedule of the child to include the designated overnights per parent, the exchange locations and times, the holiday time-sharing schedule, and the handling of academic and extracurricular activities. The tax designation, health insurance, and child support will also be determined for the child. All the terms of the Parenting Plan will be enforceable so each party will be inclined to comply. Having a set of standards to follow will often times reduce conflict between parties so you can focus on co-parenting and raising a successful and healthy child.