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I am 16 weeks pregnant and considering filing a paternity action. My ex broke up with me and has refused to help in any way.

Delray Beach, FL |

I know I have to pay $300 for the filing fee for the paternity action, but do I have to pay for the DNA tests as well? do I have to pay his or just mine and the baby? how does that work? Do you think it is in my best interest to just wait till the baby is born and have him file against me to save all the additional costs? because I am going to have to hire a lawyer and need to save the money.

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

You don't need a DNA test, they will know you are the mom. There is one DNA test, with a sample from the baby and from dad, and you don't have to have one if he acknowledges paternity. If you file a paternity action, then he will have an opportunity to establish custody and time sharing at your expense. If you wait til the child is born and file for child support only through the Department of Revenue, it does not establish any rights for him. As long as you are the unmarried mother with no court order regarding time sharing or custody, then you have all the rights. So you really have nothing to gain that I can see by filing now. He should be contributing to your expenses and care during the pregnancy if he want to be part of his child's life. I can't tell from your question if he wants to be and you are discouraging it, or if he is voluntarily choosing not to be involved, and if so, what exactly you want and/or fear from him.

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Also, filing for child support through DOR does not cost you money, and you do not have to hire an attorney. If he files a paternity action, however, you should get an attorney.

Asker

Posted

do I have to pay for his DNA test?

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Not if you go through DOR, then the state pays. If there is a private paternity action, the judge can decide who pays. It is more likely to be him than you however.

Posted

The paternity statute says that a paternity action may be filed by a woman who was pregnant, therefore you do not have to wait until the baby is born. You may have to wait if the father contest paternity for a paternity judgment, because the taking of the DNA test before birth is more difficult. also, and as difficult as it is to say, it is possible that you suffer a miscarriage, making the spending of the money for naught. But you may want to go ahead and get the ball rolling. I would probably recommend that you wait until you are little closer to term.

The statute has a fee shifting provision, so the court may award you your attorneys fees. A lot depends upon the father's financial condition. The Department of revenue will assist in the collection of child support and birth related expenses, but they will not handle issues of parental responsibility. You are better off hiring a lawyer, if you can afford and/or if you can find an attorney who will work with you on the fees, with the expectation that the father will pay all or some of the fees.

Don't forget to keep good records regarding any birth related expenses you incur.

The above is for informational and educational purposes only, does not establish an attorney client relationship, and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. The only legal advice offered is to have this matter reviewed and discussed by a competent attorney of your own choice.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

I agree that she can file a paternity action before the child is born. My question is just whether she wants to or not. I didn't get a sense from her question of what her goals were in regards to the father.

Asker

Posted

I'm not sure exactly what his plans are. He has disappeared, blocked me from contact and the last I heard is that he wants his rights. So I feel I must be prepared for legal custody issues and not just child support.

Asker

Posted

How do I get a fee shifting provision? and should I wait for him to file the paternity instead of me doing it. If I file the paternity, do I have to pay for his DNA test?

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

If he wants his rights, his actions are counterproductive to his goals.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

I agree with Mr. Rogers that you should visit with an attorney and talk out all your options.

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