The process to determine parentage
In a parentage case, a judge legally determines (decides) who are or are not the legal parents of a child. As part of the case, a judge can also make child custody, visitation (parenting time), and support orders.
1. Start a parentage case
Someone, usually a parent or someone who wants to be a legal parent, fills out and files papers in court to start the parentage case.
2. Notify the other person
Next, the person who started the case has to notify (serve) the other person in the proper legal way so that they know about the case.
3. Finalize the case
To get a final decision, you either create an agreement with the other person or ask the judge to decide. Then, you'll prepare forms for the judge to sign that say who the child's legal parents are. It can also include child custody, visitation (parenting time), and support orders.