A paternity action is necessary when the parties have a minor child or children but were not legally married at the time the child was born. The parents of the child or children must be established within the court system. Also established by filing a paternity action are issues of child support, child custody and child visitation.
Although neither party may be contesting “paternity”, you must file a paternity action to establish custody, visitation and/or child support.
Until a court order is obtained neither party has “legal” physical custody of the minor child(ren). This means that if one parent decides to take the child(ren) and withhold the child(ren) from the other parent, the parent who has had custody all along would be forced to file a paternity action along with an Order To Show Cause and go to court to obtain a court order to get the minor child(ren) back into their custody.
The entire court process takes approximately 4-6 months to complete the paternity action. If your situation needs to be determined sooner than 4-6 months down the line, you can file an Order To Show Cause, which is documentation, setting up a court date within 4-6 weeks, so that custody, visitation and/or child support can be determined at that hearing.
If you have an emergency situation, wherein you need to get into court within a few days, you can file an “Ex-Parte” Order to Show Cause hearing which is an emergency hearing. You must have an emergency to file an “Ex-Parte” hearing.