These are family law cases where a child is conceived to parents who are not married. As such a "paternity action" determines if these parties are indeed the parents of the child (usually via blood tests or an affidavit of paternity) and once this is determined the court, as in other family law cases, goes on to determine issues of 1) custody and 2) child support. There is usually no property division issues unless these parties having been living together for quite some time and making expenditures and acquiring property for their household. This is a special type of paternity and is legally described as a "meritricious relationship." Other than these differences these are like other family law cases and can and do have long lasting consequences. You should always have a lawyer for these cases as well athough many people believe that this type of case is not important enough to retain an attorney but they are wrong.