Bakersfield Paternity Attorneys
Helping You Pursue or Contest a Paternity Action
For mothers and fathers alike, establishing paternity can help a child receive the emotional and financial support they deserve from a biological father. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our Bakersfield paternity lawyers help parents seek an equitable outcome in paternity cases.
How Can a Parent Establish Paternity in California?
In California, if parents are married, both names are automatically added to a child's birth certificate. If parents are unmarried, they can sign a declaration of parentage or paternity at the hospital to put both names on the birth certificate.
Assuming both parents do not fulfill the above conditions, California parents have a few options when it comes to establishing paternity.
Signing a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage or Paternity
If both parents agree, they can still sign a voluntary declaration post-birth either at a local child support agency, a registrar of births, a family law facilitator, or a welfare office.
After signing the declaration, the parents must file it with the California Department of Child Support Services Parentage Opportunity Program. After the DCSS assesses the declaration, they will establish paternity for the father, giving them parentage rights and enabling the mother to request child support (if necessary).
Parents can file to rescind a declaration of parentage, but terminating paternity can be difficult or impossible after the DCSS processes and accepts a declaration.
Establishing Paternity Through DCSS
Alternatively, if a father refuses to sign a declaration of parentage, the mother can ask the DCSS to step in and establish parentage on their behalf.
If a parent works with DCSS, their local child support agency will often issue a genetic test to the alleged father. If the test returns positive, DCSS can use that data to establish paternity for the child.
Establishing Paternity Through the Court
Because the DCSS often has a long wait-time, some parents choose to try and establish parentage through a court order instead of by working with their local child support agency.
If you choose to utilize this method, you can work with your lawyer and a court to file a parentage case. This involves filing parentage case forms, serving the alleged father, and attending a trial to determine whether or not to establish paternity for the father.
Regardless of how you choose to establish paternity, doing so has several benefits:
- The father can pay for child support;
- The father can acquire parental rights, enabling them to contribute to their child's life;
- The child has easier access to information about each parent, including medical records.
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we help Californians navigate complex paternity disputes and parentage issues.
“Thank you for all your knowledge, conscientiousness, and kindness.”- Beverly
“First and foremost, I found that I had a lot to learn about the divorce mediation process. I did not exactly know what the role of the mediator was or if we would still have to go to Court.”- Donald B.
“I was so stressed out before I went to ADS. Once I got there Lani sat with me and my husband and explained the whole mediation process. After I left I knew exactly what to expect and ADS lived up to my expectations.”- Giz S.