Helping Families for 25+ Years

Paternity Attorney in Granite Bay

Determining Paternity: Requirements and Steps

Paternity involves anything related to the legal relationship of a biological father and his child. Often times, paternity issues arise from an unmarried couple’s child. In California, the name of the parents on the birth certificate does not assure that those named are, indeed, the parents.

ESTABLISHING PATERNITY: THE CHILD’S BENEFITS

In most instances, a child should be able to know who the identity of their legal father. Other than establishing this, there are additional benefits that come with obtaining paternity including but not limited to the following:

  • Access to family medical history information
  • Health or life insurance from either parent (if available)
  • Social Security benefits, military allowances, and/or veteran’s benefits
  • Child support
  • The right to inherit from the father

ESTABLISHING PATERNITY: THE MOTHER’S BENEFITS

In California, each parent is equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of his or her child. In the event you would like to request child support as a mother, you will need to establish paternity before asking the court to make an order for child support. The benefits of obtaining paternity for a mother include but are not limited to the following:

  • Request child support
  • Shared custody
  • Access to family medical records/history
  • Grant your child the right to inherit from his/her father

HOW DO YOU ESTABLISH PATERNITY?

There are three ways to establish paternity in California. They are as follows:

Sign a voluntary declaration of parentage or paternity

Unmarried parents can sign a declaration of parentage or paternity, which is a legal document that states that they both voluntary acknowledge that they are the parents of the child. This is typically done in the hospital after the child is born but can also be completed later. After parentage is established, each parent has an equal responsibility to support the child as well as an equal right to custody of the child.

Go to court yourself

If you would like to handle parentage matters on your own, you can do so. You will need to complete the appropriate forms and may also have to stand trial before a judge. This is typically done when paternity is disputed. In the event this happens, a judge will listen to the mother and alleged father and decide whether to establish paternity. Genetic testing may take place.

Either parent can open a case to establish parentage. However, you will not need to open a parentage case if:

  • You are married to the other parent (includes same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships)
  • You and the other parent signed a voluntary declaration of parentage or paternity (even if unmarried)
  • You and other parent are involved in a domestic violence restraining order case and you both agree to the parentage of the child and to the court entering a judgement about parentage.
  • The local child support agency has filed a parentage case in court.

Ask your local child support agency

Your local child support agency can bring an action to establish parentage. To begin the process, contact child support services and ask for an appointment to open a case for parentage. You can do so even while the mother is pregnant.

WHO CAN FILE FOR A PATERNITY ACTION?

The following individuals can file a paternity action to establish parentage:

  • A man who believes he is a child’s biological father
  • A woman who is pregnant or who has given birth and wants to obtain paternity
  • A child who would like to determine who his/her father is

IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT TO DETERMINE PATERNITY?

In California, paternity can be established up to 3 years after a child's 18th birthday. If a person is married when their child is born, and he/her has doubts about paternity, a court order for a DNA test can be obtained within 2 years of the child’s birth.

Our Goal is to Help You Resolve Issues Relating to Paternity

Paternity issues can be emotionally and financially straining. Our Granite Bay paternity lawyers may be able to help you, no matter what paternity issues you may be facing. We have more than 25 years of combined legal experience providing professional knowledge to our clients in all types of family law matters. At Myers Family Law, we are committed to meeting your needs in a timely, satisfactory and careful manner. We can represent clients throughout Northern California, including Sacramento County, Placer County, El Dorado County, and beyond.

Call our firm today at (916) 634-0067 to speak with our Granite Bay paternity lawyer at your earliest convenience. Schedule your low-cost 30-minute consultation today.