Understanding what happens when you file a paternity suit

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Unmarried Couples on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

Deciding to have paternity legally established is a big decision. While it can bring many benefits, it can also bring some potential challenges for which you may not be prepared. Before taking this step, it’s important to talk with a family law attorney who understands what the process requires and any potential pitfalls to avoid.

Some of the benefits of establishing paternity include getting a court-ordered visitation schedule and possibly even some level of legal custody so that you can have input in the important decisions involving the child. Once paternity is legally established and a court order is in place, the other parent cannot keep your from the child and any changes to the order or schedule must go through the courts.

While these are all good things, it’s important to understand that there will also likely be a child support order put in place. There may be a lengthy court battle if the other parent contests the custody. Child support is often made retroactive, so this can mean that you can begin in arrears owing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Normally, the courts take an extra percentage on top of the regular child support order out of your checks until the arrears are caught up. However, you may also be able to make other arrangements or make bulk payments as you are able to in order to get caught up more quickly.

At the Law Offices of Furr & Cohen, we deal with paternity cases on a regular basis and can work to help ensure that you are fully informed before you take legal action.