Paternity vs APR
There are a few distinct characteristics found within a paternity action not otherwise existent in an APR action. For example, in a paternity action, a mother may be able to recover costs associated with medical procedures incurred as a result of labor/birthing. In an APR action, such costs aren’t necessarily recoverable. Furthermore, in a paternity action, a mother may be able to seek retroactive child support from a man determined to be the father of the child. In contrast, child support in an APR case may only be awarded as to the date upon which the petition was filed. Therefore, there can be significant financial exposure to possible fathers, especially if a paternity action is not commenced shortly after a child’s birth.
Allocation of parental responsibilities case is different than a paternity case. In a paternity case, there is some question as to the identity of the father. In an APR case, there is not a question as to the identity of the father. Rather, in these cases, two people acknowledged being parents of a child seek intervention from the court in determining parental responsibilities. In these cases, the court will be looking to consider the best interests of the child(ren) and will allocate parenting time and decision-making accordingly. Inevitably, as a result of the allocation of parenting time, the court will also likely enter a child support order, requiring one parent to pay the other. As noted above, the difference in an APR case is that the court only has jurisdiction to compel back child support as to the date of filing the petition.