Who Typically Files a Paternity Action?

Either a mother or father can file a paternity action. A mother will typically file for paternity in order to obtain child support from the father. A mother is able to obtain both prospective child support, as well as child support owed by the father for the previous three years. A father will file for paternity to obtain parenting time and legal decision-making abilities for the child. Once paternity is established, the court will enter the necessary orders, allocating parenting time, support obligations, and decision-making abilities to both or either parent. Regardless of who files, both parents will be able to obtain the same relief and judgment from the same action. This means that if a mother files for paternity to collect child support, the father will also be able to secure parenting rights, and vice versa.