Santa Rosa Parental Legitimation Lawyers


Parental Legitimation in California


Identifying a Child’s Parentage


Identifying a child’s legal and biological father in California is called paternity. The parents or the courts may decide. The court decides who the child’s legal parents are in parentage proceedings (also known as paternity trials). The child’s legal father is accountable for the child’s upbringing and has the right to seek custody. Once paternity is confirmed, custody and visitation are determined. 

The attitude toward illegitimates has been more compassionate throughout the United States. California courts have adopted a very liberal stance in defending the rights of children. An illegitimate child may inherit from his father without his parents’ intermarriage if his father acknowledges him in writing under one of the provisions of section 255 of the Probate Code.

A child’s parentage is generally clear if the parents are married at the time of birth. In most instances, parentage is immediately established since the law believes married couples are the child’s legal parents. However, unmarried parents must prove the legal parentage of their children. The law may also decide a child’s legitimate parentage.

Call us at 707-596-6641 to schedule a legal parentage consultation with our experienced parental legitimation lawyers at Provencher & Flatt LLP.

How Do I Establish Parentage in California?


Establishing parentage is vital for a child. It also provides the child with the same legal rights and benefits as a child whose parents are married. These legal rights include:

  • Both parents’ financial support
  • Identifying documents for both parents
  • Having both parents’ names on the birth certificate;
  • Medical records and family history;
  • Parent’s health and life insurances;
  • To inherit from any parent;
  • Right to social security and veteran’s benefits
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If the court determines parentage, it may impose child support, health insurance, visitation (parenting time), name change, and payment for pregnancy and delivery costs. The court cannot make these orders without establishing parentage. So, if one parent requires child support and the other won’t pay, the court can’t impose it until parentage is proved.

Even if one of the child’s biological parents cannot afford to maintain the child or wants to be engaged in the child’s upbringing, establishing parentage is essential. Like child support or health insurance later on when the other parent has a job or is in a better financial position, establishing parentage helps a child in ways beyond. If there are more than two parents, then each parent has the rights and duties of parentage.

Establishing parentage is also required in same-sex parenting scenarios when the parents were not married at the mother’s pregnancy or child’s birth. For example, if two unmarried women agree to co-parent a child, the woman who did not give birth to the child must petition the court for a formal order establishing her parental rights. The court may require the “other mother” to show the couple wanted her to be the child’s parent. Parentage legislation is complex, so speak to your court’s family law facilitator or a lawyer to clarify your position.

A person who is legally recognized as a child’s father or mother has the following rights and responsibilities:

  • They may ask the court for custody and visitation (parenting time) orders so they can lawfully see their child.
  • They will also be liable for child support, half of the uninsured health care expenses for the children, and half of the childcare costs incurred by the custodial parent working or attending school.

In California, a court may find a child has more than two parents. This is typically done when unrecognized parents might harm the child. A child’s legal parent must financially support the child; failing to support them is a felony. A legal parent also has the right to child custody and visitation.

How Can a Married Coupe Establishe Parentage?


If the child’s parents were married at birth, the court presumes the husband is the father unless the parentage is disputed within the first two years. It is possible for a guy who is not her spouse to establish paternity with her. He may request a paternity test, but he has just two years to dispute his parentage.

In certain instances, a judge will prefer a solid marriage above a biological father connection. A guy who fathers a child with a married woman faces the danger of losing contact with his child. There is no age limit on asking for a paternity test if the spouse doubts the child is his.

How Can an Unmarried Couple Establish Parentage?


Depending on the child, paternity may be a complex problem for unmarried parents. Unmarried men who have been living together and have demonstrated responsibility and commitment to their children are presumed fathers. If not, a paternity test will be required to prove his parentage and obtain support, custody, or visitation orders.

An alleged father may want a paternity test regardless of his marital status or living arrangement to be certain he is the father. Whatever his connection to the mother, the child’s biological father has rights and obligations.

When Both Agree on Parentage in California


Signing a “Voluntary Declaration of Fatherhood” form establishes paternity in California fast. To be legitimate, both parents must sign it. Following that, each parent recognizes their parental roles, with the guy as the biological father. This may be done later or at the hospital. You may get this paperwork at the hospital or subsequently from the courts. It’s completely optional to add the father’s name to an existing birth certificate; a fee is charged.

The father may be added to the birth certificate at the signing stage. Otherwise, he won’t be included until they’re married. His visiting, legal and physical custody rights will become effective once he signs. No subsequent denial of fatherhood is possible—a court order establishing parentage. Consult an experienced Provencher & Flatt LLP lawyer if you have any questions before you sign.

The legal procedure of establishing paternity is waived by signing this statement. Among them:

  • A court trial to determine parentage
  • DNA analysis
  • Notification of parentage hearings
  • The privilege to argue in court
  • Representation by a lawyer

How Do You Determine Parentage in California?


Find a local lawyer. California paternity determination is difficult. Contacting an attorney beforehand may save you a lot of trouble.

Petition filing. A summons and a petition will be served on the respondent. The summons informs the alleged father to respond.

As the complaining party, you must legally prove paternity, and these include:

  • Citation of California’s paternity law
  • Establish a court residence (statement on where the alleged father and mother live to determine which court has jurisdiction).
  • Name and birthdate of the child
  • Child-parent relationships
  • Whether and to whom the mother was married at birth
  • Status of any pending child visitation or custody proceedings

An assessment of the issue will decide the need for a trial. The trial will be either proceeded, compromised, or dropped. The court will require genetic testing if one of the parties does not accept a court judgment. The county superior court may require DNA testing for the putative father, mother, and child. If the mother or putative father refuses the final recommendation, the matter goes to trial.

You should file a paternity lawsuit as soon as possible after birth. This benefits both the parents and the child. Cases vary in length based on the circumstances. Establishing paternity, subsequent custody and visitation arrangements, and financial problems are handled.

Establishing Paternity in Court


Either parent may file a parentage lawsuit. Establishing paternity in court takes longer and more effort. The following individuals with legal standing may petition a California court for a paternity order:

  • The child’s or unborn child’s mother
  • The man who believes he fathered the child or unborn child
  • An adoption agency
  • A child support agency that suspects neglect
  • A 12-year-old child

You may obtain a paternity order via child support services, but it takes considerably longer than hiring an attorney. Many individuals don’t want to delay establishing paternity.

To prove paternity, the putative father must collaborate throughout the proceeding so the court can decide paternity and order the following:

  • Child support
  • Child health insurance
  • Child custody (physical and legal: where the child lives and what part of the decision-making process each parent gets)
  • Visitation
  • Paying the court’s expenses to commence the lawsuit
  • The cost of genetic testing,
  • Reasonable attorney’s fees

Getting Legal Help on Paternity and Other Parental Legitimation


This is a situation when you need an attorney to help you. Mothers seeking to prove the paternity of an alleged father should contact an attorney. Anguished fathers may seek legal help when the child’s mother or other child members refuse to acknowledge their child. The legal system is complicated. A Provencher & Flatt LLP lawyer can assist a parent in achieving a better result. 

To get legal help with filing or defending parentage disputes to court, contact our parental legitimation lawyer in the Santa Rosa law office at 707-596-6641.

 

 

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