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Paternity Judgment

Legal determination of fatherhood.

Question: How do I vacate a default paternity judgment? Papers were served at my old residence (a family members home) for a paternity and child support hearing. I did not receive them (after a falling out with my family member I moved). My new address was on record with utility companies and various other state agencies and my mail was being forwarded. I didn't receive the papers so I didn't even know that I had court. This resulted in a default judgment of paternity being entered and subsequently an order for child support. I only learned of the child support order when a collection showed up on my credit report. After much research, I found out what it was for. I cannot afford a lawyer to handle this, and I have already contacted the state and asked for new hearing or review. All this has done is get me served with papers at my correct address to show up at a contempt of court hearing and to show cause as to why I shouldn't be held in contempt for not paying. I want a DNA test. I would like the court to order one before ordering child support payments. What do I need to file to get the default judgment overturned and a new hearing? A petition to ask the judge for a DNA test? A motion to vacate the default paternity judgment? I dont know what steps to take and what to file when? I will be showing up at court with my documentation and such for the hearing about contempt of a court order. Can I ask the judge at this time to order a DNA test or what do I do?

Answer: What you really need is a lawyer. Yes, filing a motion to vacate the default judgment, detailing WHY the default judgment should be vacated, is the way to go. But really, to deal with this, you need a lawyer. If you can't afford one, look up your local Legal Aid Foundation. They provide lawyers, free of charge, to people who are otherwise unable to afford one. Contact them and see if you qualify. There are many, MANY, legal forms and help out there on the net, much of it free. is one site you can check out for help.


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