Paternity

Certified Specialist - Family Law

Establishing Paternity in Newport Beach, CA

Seek Guidance From a Newport Beach Paternity Attorney

When a married couple or unmarried domestic partners end their relationship, or any couple give birth to a baby and need to determine for various reasons, their rights and obligations, under California codes and paternity law they need to file a Complaint to Establish Parental Relations. This is a legal action and is done in the California Superior Court. This is the action which determines parenthood rights, custody, visitation, time-sharing arrangements and establishes the rights and privileges of parenting to the parties involved.

DNA Testing

Any man who is said to be the father of a child is entitled, under California law, to a paternity DNA blood or saliva test to prove or disprove fatherhood. The man is also entitled to legal counsel in such a proceeding before fatherhood is judged to be true or not and child support set. The state recognizes both parents equally with regard to child custody and child support and it is awarded on assessing a number of facts concerning each party. The court will look at the parenting capabilities of both, physical and mental health, ability to provide financially and emotionally as well as environmentally for the child, to name a few.

If paternity is challenged by the father, it may not be resolved until the child is born. At which time testing is done and if the child is already born, temporary child support may be awarded during the time paternity is factually established or denied by an order from the court. If the man is found not to be the father, he is not obligated to offer child support or be involved with child custody.

Voluntary Declaration of Paternity

Sometimes an individual will want to step forward and voluntarily sign a Declaration of Paternity. This is filed with the court and the judge can make orders for custody, visitation, and support. It should be noted, however, there is something very important associated with making a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. Once the paternity is established and the petition is recognized by the court, it can be difficult or impossible to undo - even if blood tests later show the father is not the parent of the child.

After establishing the parentage, each parent has an equal obligation to support the child and an equal right to custody of the child. However, if a parent does not meet the support obligation, the custodial parent, guardian, or local children's support agency can ask the court to enforce the support orders. If a parent violates the support order the judge is able to give him or her, a fine of up to $1000 and 5 days in the county jail for each violation.

Paternity is a serious matter - affecting your life forever. There are many ramifications in choosing to seek paternity-either to prove or disprove it. Whether the situation is a man who is unmarried but devoted and wanting to claim the baby as his own, or is a case of a husband wanting to prove that the unborn child his wife is carrying is not his, but a result of her affair with another man, paternity is a life changing action. Contact a Newport Beach paternity attorney for help in your case!

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