Question about family court/summons/legal stuff/etc.

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by milos_mommy, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Alright, so my baby's father has been completely MIA for nearly a month, so yesterday I went to the courthouse to file for paternity (which I was planning to do even if he was talking to me, and told him he could either fill out the paperwork, tell me he wanted a DNA test and convince me he'd actually fill out the paperwork after we got the DNA test, or come to court and do it there.)

    Everything I looked up about the process, including both the county court's website, the state's family court website, and people who have done this, all told me the exact same process. This was:

    1. Go to the courthouse and file a petition for paternity
    2. Receive two copies of the petition, a summons, and an affidavit of service
    3. Serve the summons and petition (have someone else do it) to the father
    4. Come to court on the date on the summons

    Easy peasy. NOPE.

    I went to court and filled out the petition and the (really unhelpful) woman working there just like...took it and was like "ok bye".
    I was like "....what do I do now."
    "come to court"
    "when?"
    "you'll get a date in the mail."

    So...will I just get a summons or something in the mail? And if that's how it works, why does everything explaining the process say that a) I'd be leaving family court with a lot more paperwork and b) you can't serve a family court summons via the mail?

    Also, if no one's home to get the father's mail (which is likely the case), and they leave a notice to go to the post office, I highly doubt he'd go pick it up. What happens if he never receives the mail?
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Is he on the birth certificate as the father?

    If so, in my experience working with this stuff, he's assumed, by the court, to be the father and to be liable for child support. It's incumbent on him, then, to file to prove he is NOT the father.

    Here we have state child enforcement officials/attorneys whose job it is to pursue fathers for child support. Most jurisdictions I've been in contact with have the same. You might do some checking into that. They're more focused on child support issues than clerks, who can get pretty jaded.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Baby isn't born yet, right? A lot of this paperwork doesn't happen until birth, I believe.
     
  4. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    ^ That's what I believe to be true as well.........but each state is different.
     
  5. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    That's what I'd presume as well. There's not much to be done before the child is born...there's nothing for him to pay, can't do bloodwork until the baby is born, etc.
     
  6. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Nope, the baby isn't born, and yes, they will do it before the baby is born...I can not put the baby's father's name on the birth certificate in this state. Only he can do that IF he's at the hospital at the birth or fills out the paperwork and sends it in afterwards (which I don't believe he'll do).

    If I go to this trial, and he admits he's the father (which he hasn't denied so far, but I wouldn't be surprised or remotely offended if he requested one), I will get an order which will allow me to put him on the birth certificate. If he requests DNA, the case will be adjourned for 6 to 8 months. So, I can do it now and expect to go back to court a few weeks after the baby comes, or wait until it's born and have to wait 6 to 8 months after that.

    Or....that's what the state/county websites and every other resource I could find has said. Unfortunately, those also all said I'd be getting the summons, petition, and affidavit in person...which I didn't.
     

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