Paternity suits have exactly the same child support,
custody, visitation, and holiday issues applied to them as in a
dissolution of marriage with the Judge ruling according to the
best interest of the minor child.
When there is a question, we always recommend DNA testing to
be certain that an 18-year support obligation, that is both
financial and emotional, is based on the reality of parenthood.
The same Child Support Guidelines calculates the child support based
on the income of the parties and the amount of time the
non-custodial parent spends with the child. Child care costs and
health insurance calculate into the formula.
The same process and experts including child psychiatric
evaluations, interrogatories, depositions, and financial discovery
exists exactly like a dissolution of marriage case.
Attorney fees are
based upon need and ability to pay (comparing the incomes and assets
of the parties), however, there is a statutory provision for
attorney's fees when having to enforce a paternity judgment against
a denial by the natural father.