Default in a parentage case

If you don’t file a Response on time, the other person can ask for a default. This means asking the court to decide the case without your input.  

The case can move forward without you  

The court makes decisions without hearing your side

The court will make decisions based on the information from the person who filed the Petition (the Petitioner), and what the law says, without hearing your side.  

This means that the court will probably grant whatever the other side asked for in the Petition, including determining parentage. For example,

  • If you are the father, this means you are waiving (giving up) your chance to participate in the case and ask for genetic tests and a trial.
  • In the case of same-sex couples, it means both parents are agreeing their intent was to be the child's legal parents.

If the court decides you are the parent, you have legal responsibilities

Once parentage is established by a court order, you have the legal responsibility to support the child and child support can be automatically taken out from your pay.

Even if you later find out that you are not the child’s biological parent, the court won’t be able to change the parentage decision or erase any child support debt you owe.

Learn more about your options before deciding to not respond

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