When support and custody are contested in a parentage case

Sometimes in a parentage case, you might agree with the other person about who the legal parent of the child is, but disagree about other orders such as child support or child custody and visitation (parenting time). 

Try to reach an agreement

Working out an agreement with the other person does not necessarily mean you have to sit down together. Some people work out agreements over the phone or email, or get help from someone else, like a mediator. Once you reach an agreement, you'll write down that agreement. 

How to reach an agreement

Ask the court to decide

When parents can't reach an agreement on some or all of the issues by working together, they can ask the court to decide.

If you do this, you'll get a few more chances to try to agree. But, if you still can't agree, you will need ask for a trial where a judge will decide the issues in your case. 

Each court has its own process for how you need to set a case for trial. When you get the trial date, the court may set other court dates and give you other tasks to complete, like a trial brief. Talk to your Self-Help Center or a lawyer to learn more about how to ask for and prepare for a trial.

If you need something before you have an agreement - like child support or child custody - you can ask the court to make a temporary decision (issue an order) while the case is ongoing. Learn how to ask a judge to make a temporary decision while you try to work things out.
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