PATERNITY OR “JP” CASES. This type of case involves children whose parents were not married when they were born, even if both parents are placed on the child’s birth certificate. Paternity is presumptively established by filling out an Affidavit at the time of birth, but custody and parenting rights are not officially in place when an Affidavit is completed. The obligation to financially support a child is also not determined with an Affidavit. These things must be established by Court Order or they are not legally enforceable. That is where a paternity or JP case comes in. As in a divorce case, the Court in a paternity case can:
1. Decide who will have physical and legal custody of children.
2. Set up a Parenting Time schedule.
3. Order a parent to pay child support or otherwise provide financially for children.
4. Appoint a GAL (guardian ad litem) who advocates in the best interests of the children.
5. Appoint a PC (parenting coordinator) who will work with both parents to resolve disagreements over parenting time even after the Court case is concluded.