All actions to establish paternity begin with three required forms:
- Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (FL-200). This form is a request to formally name the other party as your child(ren)’s parent. It’s extremely important because it outlines what the major issues are and what orders you are asking for with regards to your child(ren).
- Summons (FL-210). This provides notice to the other party that you are requesting that his or her paternity be established. It advises the person that he or she must respond to your request for a divorce within 30 days and places certain restrictions on both you and the other side.
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (FL-105). This establishes your child(ren)’s residency for the past five years.
After filing for paternity, the next step is serving the other party. The other side must be personally served the documents by any adult other than you. After serving the initial paperwork, you must file a proof of service with the Court. FL-115 or FL-330. If the other parent is cooperating with the process, you can also ask him or her to sign a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt, which meets the service requirements.
If you are responding after being served with paternity papers, you need to file a Response (FL-220), which allows to the Court to see your side of the story, as well as your own Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).
If you need some sort of orders prior to entering a judgment of paternity, you can file a motion with the Court regarding any family law issue from child support to custody to attorney fees. All motions require this form:
- Request for Order (FL-300).