Finish Your Parentage Case

The forms and instructions you use to finish your case depend on whether:

  • The other parent filed a Response to Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (Form FL-220),   
        AND
  • You and the other parent have an agreement about:

    • Who the legal parents of the child are,
    • Child custody and visitation, or
    • Child support issues.

There are many forms to fill out and it can get very complicated if you want to include child support and child custody orders. You may be able to get help with this process from your court’s family law facilitator.

Read and follow the instructions below that describe your situation.


The Other Parent DID NOT File a Response and We DO NOT Have an Agreement

This situation is called a “true default” because more than 30 days have passed since you served the petition and summons, and:

  • The other parent did NOT file a response (so he or she “defaulted”);
        AND
  • There is NO written agreement about paternity, child custody, visitation, and support issues.

In this situation, follow these steps:

1. Fill out your court forms
Fill out these forms:

  • Request to Enter Default (Family Law — Uniform Parentage) (Form FL-165);
  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Judgment (Form FL-230);
  • Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250); and
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law — Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-190). 

2. If you are asking for custody orders, you can fill out any of these forms that may apply to your case and attach them to your Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250):

3. If you are asking for child support, fill out any of these forms that apply and attach them to your Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250):

  • Child Support Information and Order Attachment (Form FL-342).
  • Child Support Case Registry Form (Form FL-191).
  • Notice of Rights and Responsibilities — Health-Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures and Information Sheet on Changing a Child Support Order (Form FL-192) (there is nothing to fill out with this form, but read it carefully).
  • Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (Form FL-195) (if you want a portion of the other parent’s wages garnished (taken) for child support). You can use the Instructions to Complete Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (Form FL-196). When filling out Form FL-195, make sure to only write the last 4 digits of the social security number of the person ordered to pay support – the law requires it to protect their privacy.

4. Have your forms reviewed
Ask your court’s family law facilitator to review your paperwork. He or she can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case. You can also hire your own lawyer to review your papers or to get legal advice, either with your entire case, or just the parts of it that you may need more help with (called “limited scope representation” or “unbundling”). Click for help finding a lawyer. Click to learn more about “limited scope representation.” 

5. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms
Make sure you include all the attachments and, if any are double-sided, that you photocopy both sides. One copy will be for you; another copy will be for your child’s other parent. The original is for the court.

6. Turn in all your forms to the court clerk, with 2 large envelopes (addressed to each parent and with enough first-class postage for papers to be mailed back to each of you

The clerk will process your paperwork and give it to a judge to review.

  • If all of the judgment documents are completed correctly, the judge will sign the Judgment without either named parent having to appear in court.
  • If there is a problem with the documents, a court appearance may be necessary. Or you may just need to fix a mistake on your paperwork.

7. You receive your final judgment
A court clerk will mail the Judgment and Notice of Entry of Judgment to each parent, with the date that the judgment was filed stamped in the upper right corner.

  • Keep a copy of these forms in a safe place. You may need them in the future.

The Other Parent DID NOT File a Response and We Have an Agreement

This situation is called a “default with agreement” because more than 30 days have passed since you served the petition and summons, and:

  • The other parent did NOT file a response (so he or she “defaulted”);
        AND
  • The 2 parents have a written agreement about paternity, child custody, visitation, and support issues.

IMPORTANT:  If you are the father and have reached an agreement with the mother about paternity and other issues related to your children, make sure you read and understand the Advisement and Waiver of Rights Re: Establishment of Parental Relationship (Form FL-235).

You will have to sign this form to show the court that you:

  •  Agree that you are the parent of the child, and
  • Understand the consequences of being the legal parent.
  • Understand that you also are giving up certain rights, like the right to a trial, the right to a paternity test, and the right to have a lawyer for the issue of paternity.

In this situation, follow these steps:

1. Fill out your court forms
Fill out these forms:

  • Request to Enter Default (Family Law — Uniform Parentage) (Form FL-165)  OR an Appearance, Stipulations, and Waivers (Family Law — Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-130);
  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Judgment (Form FL-230);
  • Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250);
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law — Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-190); and
  • Advisement and Waiver of Rights Re: Establishment of Parental Relationship (Form FL-235).
  • Also attach to the Judgment the written, notarized agreement between both parents, agreeing on paternity, child custody and visitation, and child support. 

2. If you are agreeing to custody orders, you can fill out any of these forms that may apply to your case and attach them to your Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250) and your written, notarized agreement:

3. If you are agreeing to child support, fill out any of these forms that apply and attach them to your Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250) and your written, notarized agreement:

  • Child Support Information and Order Attachment (Form FL-342).
  • Child Support Case Registry Form (Form FL-191).
  • Notice of Rights and Responsibilities — Health-Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures and Information Sheet on Changing a Child Support Order (Form FL-192) (there is nothing to fill out with this form, but read it carefully).
  • Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (Form FL-195) (if you want a portion of the other parent’s wages garnished (taken) for child support). You can use the Instructions to Complete Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (Form FL-196). When filling out Form FL-195, make sure to only write the last 4 digits of the social security number of the person ordered to pay support – the law requires it to protect their privacy.

4. Have your forms reviewed
Ask your court’s family law facilitator to review your paperwork. He or she can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case. You can also hire your own lawyer to review your papers or to get legal advice, either with your entire case, or just the parts of it that you may need more help with (called “limited scope representation” or “unbundling”). Click for help finding a lawyer. Click to learn more about “limited scope representation.” 

5. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms
Make sure you include all the attachments and, if any are double-sided, that you photocopy both sides. One copy will be for you; another copy will be for your child’s other parent. The original is for the court.

6. Turn in all your forms to the court clerk, with 2 large envelopes (addressed to each parent and with enough first-class postage for papers to be mailed back to each of you)
The clerk will process your paperwork and give it to a judge to review.

  • If all of the judgment documents are completed correctly, the judge will sign the Judgment without either named parent having to appear in court.
  • If there is a problem with the documents, a court appearance may be necessary. Or you may just need to fix a mistake on your paperwork.

7. You receive your final judgment
A court clerk will mail the Judgment and Notice of Entry of Judgment to each parent, with the date that the judgment was filed stamped in the upper right corner.

  • Keep a copy of these forms in a safe place. You may need them in the future.

The Other Parent Filed a Response and We Have an Agreement

This situation is called “uncontested” because:

  • The other parent filed a response;
        AND
  • The 2 parents have a written agreement about paternity, child custody, visitation, and support issues.

IMPORTANT:  If you are the father and have reached an agreement with the mother about paternity and other issues related to your children, make sure you read and understand the Advisement and Waiver of Rights Re: Establishment of Parental Relationship (Form FL-235).You will have to sign this form to show the court that you:

  • Agree that you are the parent of the child, and
  • Understand the consequences of being the legal parent.
  • Understand that you also are giving up certain rights, like the right to a trial, the right to a paternity test, and the right to have a lawyer for the issue of paternity.

In this situation, follow these steps:

1. Fill out your court forms
Fill out these forms:

  • Stipulation for Entry of Judgment Re: Establishment of Parental Relationship (Form FL-240);
  • Advisement and Waiver of Rights Re: Establishment of Parental Relationship (Form FL-235);
  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Judgment (Form FL-230);
  • Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250); and
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law — Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-190)

2. If you are agreeing to custody orders, you can fill out any of these forms that may apply to your case and attach them to your Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250):

3. If you are agreeing to child support, fill out any of these forms that apply and attach them to your Judgment (Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support) (Form FL-250) and your written, notarized agreement:

  • Child Support Information and Order Attachment (Form FL-342).
  • Child Support Case Registry Form (Form FL-191).
  • Notice of Rights and Responsibilities — Health-Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures and Information Sheet on Changing a Child Support Order (Form FL-192) (there is nothing to fill out with this form, but read it carefully).
  • Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (Form FL-195) (if you want a portion of the other parent’s wages garnished (taken) for child support). You can use the Instructions to Complete Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (Form FL-196). When filling out Form FL-195, make sure to only write the last 4 digits of the social security number of the person ordered to pay support – the law requires it to protect their privacy. 

4. Have your forms reviewed
Ask your court’s family law facilitator to review your paperwork. He or she can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case. You can also hire your own lawyer to review your papers or to get legal advice, either with your entire case, or just the parts of it that you may need more help with (called “limited scope representation” or “unbundling”). Click for help finding a lawyer. Click to learn more about “limited scope representation.” 

5. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms
Make sure you include all the attachments and, if any are double-sided, that you photocopy both sides. One copy will be for you; another copy will be for your child’s other parent. The original is for the court.

6. Turn in all your forms to the court clerk, with 2 large envelopes (addressed to each parent with enough first-class postage for papers to be mailed back to each of you)

The clerk will process your paperwork and give it to a judge to review.

  • If all of the judgment documents are completed correctly, the judge will sign the Judgment without either named parent having to appear in court.
  • If there is a problem with the documents, a court appearance may be necessary. Or you may just need to fix a mistake on your paperwork.

 

7. You receive your final judgment
A court clerk will mail the Judgment and Notice of Entry of Judgment to each parent, with the date that the judgment was filed stamped in the upper right corner.

  • Keep a copy of these forms in a safe place. You may need them in the future.

The Other Parent Filed a Response and We DO NOT Have an Agreement

This situation is called “contested” because:

  • The other parent filed a response;
        AND
  • The 2 parents do NOT have a written agreement about paternity, child custody, visitation, or support issues.

If the other parent files and serves a response, and you and the other parent are not able to make an agreement, this is called a “contested case.” It can be contested because the father has asked for genetic testing to prove paternity, or because the respondent in the case does not agree with the custody and visitation or child support requests of the petitioner.

In most courts, you have to file and serve a form to set a trial date. Also, most courts usually require the parents to attend a settlement conference before the trial. Ask the court clerk what your next step should be and whether there are any special local forms you need to fill out. Click to find your local court.

If there are issues you need resolved before the trial date, either one of you can also file a Request for Order (Form FL-300) to get a hearing date and mediation to get some temporary custody and visitation orders. Learn how to ask for a custody and visitation order.

If you and the other parent want help to settle your case, ask the court clerk or family law facilitator at your local court if there are any mediation programs available.

Alert! If you are in a contested case, talk to a family law facilitator or a lawyer. Click for help finding a lawyer. This Online Self-Help Center cannot help you with contested cases because the steps required vary a lot depending on the individual circumstances in your case. These cases can be very complicated.

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