Paternity in California is an important issue that establishes the legal identity of a child’s father. Not only will a child know who his or her father is, but the child will receive financial support, the right to inheritance, and possibly health insurance. When a married woman is pregnant, it is assumed that the husband has legal parentage. In simple cases, paternity may be filed by both parents through a declaration in the hospital and then given to the state.
Unmarried couples can establish parentage by signing a Paternity Opportunity Program Declaration of Paternity form in the hospital when the child is born, or later through a local registrar, child support agency, or through a court order. These family law issues can be more complicated when a court order is needed to establish parentage, especially when parents are in disagreement. This is why a top paternity lawyer in California can assist you with making sure legal documents are properly read and filled out, as well as help get you adequate child support.
When a paternity case is brought to a child support agency, a Summons and Complaint is issued to the presumed father. If the man knows he is the father, he can sign a Stipulation of agreement, or if he thinks he is not the father, he must file the Answer to Complaint within thirty days of being served. After thirty days of not responding, the court will establish the named man as the father and can order him to begin paying child support and provide medical coverage for the child.
As you can see, issues surrounding and influencing parentage in California is complex and requires the knowledge and experience of a skilled California family law attorney to ensure that your specific situation has the best outcome for those involved. Whether you would like to establish paternity or challenge paternity DNA tests, the team at Wallin & Klarich can help. Call us today for a case evaluation.