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.
But what happens when a couple is a married, considering divorce, or a child’s father claims that he has no biological ties to the child?
In many cases, people turn to a Rancho Cucamonga establishment of paternity lawyer for help in situations like these.
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.
Establishing paternity ensures that your child is eligible for:
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:
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:
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.
When establishing on a child’s custody, the courts cannot rule on child support without an establishment of paternity.
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:
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.
If you are facing issues regarding paternity, talk to a Rancho Cucamonga establishment of paternity lawyer as soon as possible.
Call us at 909-466-7661 or contact us online today. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can get to work protecting your (and your child’s) rights.