- Signing a Declaration of Paternity
- Having a Child Support Agency Establish Parentage
- Appearing in Court To Establish Parentage
Signing a Declaration of Paternity
When both unmarried parents of a child sign a Declaration of Paternity, they are deemed the legal parents of a child. The signing of this document is considered voluntary. If the parents sign at the hospital, the father’s name will go on the child’s birth certificate, and the mother does not need to go to court to prove who the father of the child is. If they sign the declaration after the child’s birth certificate has been issued, a new birth certificate can be issued with the father’s name. An important benefit of having this document signed is that once it is filed with the court, the judge can make orders for custody, visitation, and support based upon it.
Having a Child Support Agency Establish Parentage
A California child support agency can bring an action to establish the parentage of your child. As part of this action, they will ask for a child support order. Although this service is free, the filing of the forms can be complicated. It is important to note that the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) doesn’t represent the parents or the children. The LCSA lawyers aren’t your lawyers. You are not their client, and the information you give the LCSA isn’t confidential. By using the LCSA to establish parentage, you are waiving certain rights you would be able to exercise if you had your own attorney. The law says the LCSA will make the final decision on child support enforcement, even if the custodial parent disagrees. For this reason alone, whenever possible, it is always best to have a qualified, experienced California child custody & support attorney file the child support order and represent your interests in the child custody matter.
Appearing in Court to Establish Parentage
The filling out, serving, and filing of the necessary court forms for establishing parentage is the last of the methods discussed on the site. This process can be exceedingly complicated, and although it is possible for a party to attempt to navigate the court system alone, it is always best to contact a skilled California child custody attorney to insure that no mistakes are made and the best possible result for your particular situation is reached. Among the forms that may or may not have to be filled out are a Summons (Uniform Parentage-Petition for Custody and Support), Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (Uniform Parentage), Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), Income and Expense Declaration (Family Law), and/or a Financial Statement.
Regardless of the method used, it is of the utmost importance when seeking to establish paternity to contact an experienced paternity attorney like the ones at Wallin & Klarich. The laws that apply to establishing paternity and paternity testing are complex. We can help guide you through the complicated legal process and get you the help and support you need. Call us today for a free consultation.
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