Establish Parental Rights with Help from Our Divorce Mediators
Residents of California are no strangers to nontraditional families of all kinds. When a child is born to a married or otherwise committed heterosexual couple, the assumption is that the man in the relationship is the father. However, when a couple is not in a committed relationship or cohabitating, there are further steps that a spouse must take to establish paternity through the courts.
Establishing paternity in the eyes of the law is important and has many benefits, including:
- Securing financial support for your child
- Receiving help from public assistance or health insurance
- Establishing the child as a valid heir to their biological father’s estate
- Allowing the biological father to be involved in the child’s life and assert his parental rights
Establishing Paternity in California
When a child is born, a father can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity which acknowledges the child’s legal parents and lays out the rights and responsibilities of the father. If this form is not signed, it may become necessary to file a paternity action. This process can be initiated by a public child support agency, an adoption agency, a mother, or a father who believes himself to be the father. They will then ask the court to help establish the biological father. The court, in turn, will ask the alleged father and mother to submit to genetic testing – refusal could be used as evidence of paternity.
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After establishing paternity, a father can assert their parental rights to visitation and being in the child’s life, and it can help mothers seek child support.
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