Long Beach Paternity Lawyers
Sometimes, child custody and child support cases involve the issue of paternity. If either parent has any doubts about paternity, this issue must be resolved before making any decisions about child support and custody.
If you have a paternity dispute, Alternative Divorce Solutions is here to assist you. Our Long Beach paternity lawyers can help you and the other party work toward an agreement that satisfies everyone involved. Through it all, we keep the child’s best interests in mind and prioritize their well-being.
How Is Paternity Established in California?
Establishing paternity might be more difficult than you initially thought. When a child is born to two parents that are either married or living together, the spouse or partner of the woman is assumed to be the father. However, when a mother has a child with a man who is neither her husband nor living with her, they must go through the family law court to establish that the man is the child’s legal father.
Voluntary Declaration of Paternity
After a child is born, a father has the option to get a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP). This legal document allows unmarried parents to declare the paternity of their child. Once filed with the court, the biological father and the child have a legal parent-child relationship.
If a VDP is not submitted, further action will need to be taken to establish paternity. Typically, this involves a court order for genetic testing from the mother and father.
There are several parties who may request the court’s assistance in establishing paternity, including:
- The child’s mother
- The man who believes he is the child’s father
- A public child support agency
- An adoption agency
The Benefits of Establishing Paternity
Perhaps you are unsure about whether you should establish paternity of your child. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we believe that establishing paternity is a vital part of a child’s well-being.
When legal fatherhood is established, it can provide many essential benefits to the child, including:
- Legal Benefits: Establishing paternity makes a child eligible to receive key benefits such as child support, life insurance, inheritance rights, veteran’s benefits, and Social Security
- Emotional Benefits: Establishing paternity affirms a child’s self-identity and enables a child to benefit from a relationship with his or her father and the father’s family
- Medical Histories: Establishing paternity helps doctors accurately diagnose and treat illnesses and disorders the child may have
Establishing paternity also ensures the protection of the father’s rights, enabling him to be actively involved in the child’s life. Mothers also benefit by getting help with the financial cost of raising the child.
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