Establishment of Paternity Lawyer Upland
In many cases, it’s necessary to establish paternity within the California legal system. People often turn to an Upland establishment of paternity lawyer for help, because the process can quickly become complicated – particularly when you are working toward child support and child custody orders.
Establishment of Paternity Defined
Establishment of paternity is a legal process by which fathers acknowledge a paternal relationship with their children. It also establishes a legal relationship, which comes with certain rights and responsibilities.
Why is it Important to Establish Paternity in California?
In addition to strengthening the father-child bond, establishing paternity has several benefits for both the father and the child.
Courts cannot order child custody or child support without and official establishment of paternity.
Further, an establishment of paternity entitles the child to:
- Social Security benefits
- Veterans benefits
- Automatic inheritance
- Healthcare coverage through the father
It’s best to establish paternity as soon as possible after the child’s birth.
Child Custody and Paternity Cases
Fathers have no legal right to child custody without establishing parentage. If a father wishes to seek custody or parenting time with his child, his paternity must be established legally and filed with the appropriate departments.
Child Support and Paternity Cases
A court cannot order child support without establishment of paternity. However, the courts can find that a man is a legally a child’s father – even without his consent – and then order child support based on those findings.
Can I Get Child Support Without Establishing Paternity?
You cannot get child support without establishing paternity.
Ways to Establish Paternity
There are several ways to establish paternity in the state of California. The most common is through presumed parentage, which occurs when a couple is married and has a child. In that case, the mother’s spouse is presumed to be the child’s father. However, it isn’t that simple for unmarried couples.
In addition to legally married couples, there are a handful of other situations in which the courts may presume parentage. For example, when the father intends to marry the mother, even if the marriage is not valid, and the child was conceived or born during that time, the courts may find that he is a legal father of the child.
In other cases, parents married after the child’s birth and the father agrees to have his name on the birth certificates or to support the child. The courts can find that the man is the child’s legal father in this situation.
Parenting by Estoppel
Parenting by estoppel is a term that refers to an instance when a man welcomes a child into his home and acts as if the child is his own. When this happens, the court can find that the man is the child’s legal father – even if he is not biologically related – if he has always treated the child as if he was the father.
Court-Ordered DNA Testing
Either parent may request DNA testing through the courts or through the local child support agency. However, if the court orders DNA testing, the parties may be required to pay for the service. Typically, when DNA testing is performed by a local child support agency, there is no cost involved.
The courts will not accept DNA tests that are not at home or in private medical facilities as evidence unless they have specifically ordered the DNA test.
Parents can also use DNA testing to dispute paternity.
Many fathers choose to file a voluntary declaration of paternity. This can be done in a hospital, after child’s birth, or in the presence of officials at one of the following agencies:
- The local child support agency
- The registrar of births
- The local superior court in front of a family law facilitator
- The welfare office
It’s usually a good idea to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity as soon as possible after the child’s birth. This can prevent issues from arising later.
Do You Need an Upland Establishment of Paternity Lawyer?
If you need to work with an Upland establishment of paternity lawyer, call us at 909-466-7661 or contact us online. We have extensive experience in establishment of paternity in the state of California, and we can help you.