Rancho Cucamonga Establishment of Paternity Lawyer
In the state of California, paternity is typically assumed when a couple is married and has a child. That means the state considers the mother’s spouse to be the child’s father.
In many cases, people turn to a Rancho Cucamonga establishment of paternity lawyer for help in situations like these.
Why is it important to Establish Paternity in California?
Establishing paternity is incredibly important because it creates a legal relationship between a father and his child. Further, it ensures that the courts can assign custody and order child support.
What Your Child is Entitled To
Establishing paternity ensures that your child is eligible for:
- Social Security benefits
- Automatic inheritance
- Veteran survivor benefits
- Healthcare coverage
Ways to Establish Paternity
In most cases, a child’s father completes a voluntary declaration of paternity. However, the court may order DNA testing or fall back on presumed parentage in order to create a legal relationship between a father and the child.
Declaring paternity is simple. All it requires is that the father and mother sign a form in the presence of hospital personnel or at one of the following agencies:
- The local child support agency
- The office of the registrar of births
- A family law facilitators office at your local superior court
- A welfare office
If the declaration is not signed in the hospital or at one of the above agencies, it must be notarized. Once signed, you must file it with the California Department of Child Support Services Paternity Opportunity Program.
If there is some question about whether a man is the child’s father, the court may order DNA testing. Either parent may request DNA testing, as well.
When a couple is married, the law presumes that the mothers spouse is the child’s father. However, there are other cases in which the court may presume a man is the child’s father, including:
- When he attempts to marry the mother, even if the marriage is not valid
- When he marries the mother after the birth and agrees to either have his name on the birth certificate or to support the child
- When he welcomes a child into his home and openly acts as if the child is his own (this is known as “parentage by estoppel,” and it means that the court can recognize him as the child’s legal father)
Child Custody Agreements and Paternity
The courts cannot rule on child custody unless paternity has been established. Even if you and your child’s father agree on child custody, you will need to establish paternity through the court.
Child Support and Paternity
When establishing on a child’s custody, the courts cannot rule on child support without an establishment of paternity.
The Relationship Between Custody and Child Support
The amount of child support that changes hands depends on several factors. However, one of the main factors is how much time a child spends with each parent. Other factors the courts will consider include:
- Each parent’s income
- The number of children that the parents share
- Each child’s financial needs, including whether special accommodations for healthcare or other purposes must be made
There are several special circumstances that require additional consideration when it comes to establishment of paternity.
For example, when the father leaves the state of California before you were able to prove that he is the child’s father, the court may use the information may have to decide paternity without him. If the court decides paternity, they can order him to pay child support regardless of where he lives.
It’s a good idea to prove paternity as soon as possible in your case, because it simplifies things later.
A woman can start the paperwork to establish paternity while she’s still pregnant. After she gives birth, her local child support agency can pursue the case.
Talk to a Rancho Cucamonga Establishment of Paternity Lawyer Now
If you are facing issues regarding paternity, talk to a Rancho Cucamonga establishment of paternity lawyer as soon as possible.