Paternity Actions in San Diego
Defining Paternity in California
A paternity action in California is a legal proceeding to determine the identity of a child’s biological father. This legal action can be initiated by the child, the child’s mother, or the alleged father.
When a child is born during a marriage, the spouse of the person who birthed the child is presumed to be the father. California does not have a statute of limitations on establishing paternity. However, the courts may order a blood test up to two years post birth if there are doubts regarding paternity.
When a child is born to an unmarried couple, it is not assumed that the un-wed partner is the father. Establishing paternity is essential to create the best opportunities for the child. This process can be extremely beneficial because establishing paternity allows for the following to occur:
- Access to family medical history and records
- Child’s right to inherit from both parents
- Child’s ability to receive veteran benefits and social security as applicable
- Health and life insurance coverage available for the child from both parents
- Ability to sign legal documents for the child
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Establishing Paternity in California
- Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP): This is a form that both parents can sign at the hospital when the child is born, or any time thereafter. This form acknowledges that the man is the father of the child and establishes legal paternity. The VDP form can also be obtained from the local child support agency or the California Department of Child Support Services.
- Court Order: If the mother or alleged father disputes paternity, either party can file a paternity case in court. The court will then order genetic testing to determine paternity. If the test confirms that the man is the biological father, the court will issue an order establishing paternity.
- Administrative Order: The local child support agency can also establish paternity administratively. This method is typically used when one party requests child support or public assistance, and the other party disputes paternity. The agency will then order genetic testing and establish paternity if the test confirms it.
It is important to note that establishing paternity has significant legal and financial implications, including child support obligations, custody and visitation rights, and inheritance rights. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you on the best course of action for your situation.
Questioning Paternity In A Marriage
In some cases, paternity may come into question even though a couple is married or in a domestic partnership There can be a couple reasons for this. If you suspect that your child is not biologically linked to you, your responsibilities as a parent may not be required. These cases can be extremely complicated and need to be handled by an attorney that specializes in family law.
Paternity Actions and Domestic Violence in California
California is governed by the Domestic Violence Prevention Act for matters involving domestic violence. This law gives authority to the courts to step in and issue injunctions against domestic violence. These injunctions could include prohibiting the use or possession of firearms, prohibiting the alleged abuser from living in the family residence, prohibiting contact between the alleged abuse and their minor child and allowing a minor child to live under the other parent’s custody at the family residence.
Work With the Paternity Action Experts at Fair Cadora
We know how terrifying this process can be, which is why it is in your best interest to contact our firm immediately. Establishing paternity can have a significant impact on a child’s life, including access to important benefits, such as health insurance, social security, and inheritance rights. In some cases, it can also impact the relationship between the child and their father. Working with an attorney to establish paternity can ensure that the process is done correctly and efficiently. Hiring a family law lawyer ensures you have access to the legal expertise to understand your rights, create a legally binding agreement and protect your interests while avoiding costly mistakes.
At Fair Cadora, we pride ourselves in having over two decades of experience helping families in their paternity actions. Our attorneys always work hard for our clients and have the drive and ambition necessary to maximize a positive outcome.
Schedule a Consultation with One of Our Paternity Experts
At Fair Cadora we offer a free case evaluation for potential new clients to help take some of the pressure off the legal process. We like for our potential new clients to get to know us and get a feel for our practice, so they can feel confident with our representation. If you’re facing a domestic violence or restraining order issue and not sure where to start, contact one of our experienced San Diego child family law attorneys to schedule a consultation.