Saturday, November 3, 2007

Paternity without a hearing - 31-14-8

Indiana law provides the means to avoid the costs of paternity testing and a hearing through Indiana Code 31-14-8-1. Beware there are problems here as with paternity affidavits (See Paternity: child support and paternity affidavits).

This statute has two ways of establishing paternity without a hearing:

" (1) the mother and the alleged father in the paternity issue execute and file with the court a verified written stipulation; or (2) the parties have filed a joint petition alleging; that the man is the child's biological father.
Indiana paternity law allows a trial court to make an order including the terms of the stipulation or joint petition regarding custody, child support, and parenting time. See child's father. How the original order got set aside was that the joint petition was instigated by the local prosecutor's office. The man was just past eighteen years old, had no attorney, and was not informed about his rights to a blood test. I seriously doubt that I will see these facts repeated in another case. Also, the child support enforcement prosecutors rely now more on the paternity affidavits.

Rule for signing a joint petition or stipulation:
  1. I sign it only if you are completely certain that you were the father. Do not let pride or any other emotions get in the way.
  2. Never sign without having your own attorney read it over first.
  3. Make sure you understand what you have committed yourself to.

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