Upon referral from the Family Support Division, this office will file a petition to establish paternity between an alleged father and a minor child or children. As part of a paternity action, a prosecutor seeks child support and medical support (health insurance) orders for the children.
It is important to note that most referrals received by this office for the establishment of paternity involve an uncooperative party. Where either parent is unwilling to cooperate in establishing paternity, it can be a long process.
Several court appearances may be required of the custodial parent. If necessary, genetic testing may be ordered to establish the scientific probability of paternity before a judgment is entered; while testing is arranged locally by the Family Support Division, reimbursement for the cost of the testing may be sought by the prosecutor.
By law, any custodial parent receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits must cooperate with this office or those benefits may be sanctioned. View the statute.
Custodial parents not receiving public assistance should cooperate with this office in order to prevent their cases from being dismissed.
This office may require the custodial parent to complete and return these forms, among others:
After Paternity Judgment
Paternity judgments are entered following a hearing or trial at which the custodial parent is required to appear. After a paternity judgment is obtained, this office will close its referral and return the case to the Family Support Division for enforcement of the child support or medical support orders, as appropriate. If necessary, the case may be re-referred for further enforcement actions by this office.