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What to Do When Served with a Paternity Case

You’ve just been served with a paternity case and you have no idea where to begin. There are several things you need to know, understand and do to get you through the process without stressing. First off, try to talk to a lawyer and show them the Complaint. A lawyer at Frank Family Practice in Altamonte Springs can answer any questions you may have pertaining to your paternity Case.

Read the papers for Your Paternity Case Summons

Read the papers that the sheriff or constable gave you when he or she served you with. The papers should include a summons and a Complaint to Establish Paternity. If you and the father already signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage, the complaint will probably be a “Complaint about Custody-Support-Parenting Time.” There might also be a motion for “temporary custody order” or "parenting time" or “visitation rights.” The summons will give information such as, how much time you have to file an “answer” to the Complaint. The "Complaint" will tell you who filed the case, as well as why he thinks he is your child's father, and what he wants to achieve. The bottom of the Complaint should tell you if the person wants custody or just parenting time or visitation.

How to Write an "Answer" to the Complaint

How you answer the complaint will guide the whole process. Take a good look at the Complaint. Each sentence is numbered to help you organize your answers. On a separate piece of paper, you need to write down whether you “admit" or “deny" with each numbered part of the Complaint. An example of an answer would be whether you agree that the person who filed the complaint is the father of your child and you agree that he can have parenting time. If you have any questions on how to write your answer, contact Frank Family Law Practice in Winter Park and speak to a professional legal representative.

File the Answer at the Probate and Family Court that is on the Summons

Once you fill out the complaint properly you will need to file the complaint to the probate or family court that is documented on the summons. Be sure you speak to Frank Family Law Practice in Orlando before you file to ensure everything goes smoothly. You should take the Answer to the clerk's office at the court or you can mail it to the court listed. Taking the summons there yourself is the fastest. It’s important to know that you must file the Answer within 20 days after the sheriff or constable served you with the Complaint. It will not cost you anything to file an Answer. If you go to the court to file the Answer, ask for the "Docket Number" of the case so that you can write it on the Answer and any other documents you file. It is very important to know the docket number for your case for reference in the future. You can also file motions with your Answer but be sure to mail your motions at least ten days before you asked for them to be heard.

If you need help with your paternity case summons, the friendly professionals at Frank Family Law Practice in Orlando can guide you every step of the way. Give them a call today to ensure you are treated fairly throughout the entire process.