Scope of Discovery Rights in Family Law Paternity Cases?

Asked 9 months ago - Irvine, CA

I'm Petitioner in a Paternity case. Opposing party is doing everything to prevent proper discovery of financials. Opp counsel has represented to me (orally) that, 1) that since we never married the Fam Code disso statues to not apply in my case, and 2) that since we have no scheduled OSC for child support, child support is "not at issue" and hence, neither is any financial discovery. As to #2, what makes c-support "at issue"? My understanding is that its technically at issue from the moment the parentage petition is filed (I checked child-support box), as the language right at the bottom of form warns: "The court may make orders for support of children... without further notice to either party." Can someone explain what does/does not make something "at issue", in general?

Additional information

It would seem absurd that an OSC for support must be brought FIRST, as the calendaring of a typical hearing (4-6 wks) would typically barely allow enough time for proper discovery. As to #1, I understand that Civil Code Procedures govern discovery here, but I also would like to rely on some of the more pointed and mandated disclosures contained in the Family Code. In a Paternity case, which, if any, are available to me? Thanks!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Richard Forrest Gould-Saltman

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You need to speak to an EXPERIENCED family law attorney, who will set the opposing counsel right, and get discovery ORDERED. This does not sound like it's going to be a "do it yourself" job, and getting the right attorney now may mean thousands of dollars in difference in support later.

  2. Pardis Patrick Ashouri

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . You are in a disadvantage not having a lawyer. Paternity not simple. And you are in Orange County. So hire a family law attorney.

    An item or request or right is "at issue" when relief in one way or another is sought based on that. So if support is not sought then it is not an issue. However discovery is extremely complicated and just because something is not "at issue" does not make it an absolute rule.

    Can not possibly explain all the intertwined rules of discovery in any short answer and you are sailing in unchartered territories in discovery and paternity in Orange County. . Good luck.

    In addition to AVVO's disclaimer, please note that by this answer no attorney client relationship is intended mor... more
  3. Nancie Yomtov


    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . You can go to your local Dept, of Child Support Services to get parentage and support established. That office does not represent you, but their job is to get the right amount of support. Further, the original support order can be made retroactive to the date of filing the petition,.

    Good luck

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