Paternity – Frequently Asked Questions
Can a person convicted of rape or statutory rape be established as the legal father of the child?
No. If the person is not married to the mother, and has been convicted of rape or statutory rape against the mother, he is not presumed to be the father of the child. In addition, if you are convicted of rape against the mother, then you cannot establish paternity to the child.
If the mother was artificially inseminated, does the donor have a legal relationship with the child?
Most likely no. If you are the biological father or sperm donor and are not married to the mother, the State of California will not establish a legal relationship between you and the child. Instead, California acknowledges the mother’s spouse or significant other as the legal father of the child.
Typically, this bar of a legal relationship between a sperm donor and the child only applies when the artificial insemination is performed by a licensed physician. If you are a sperm donor and wish to establish paternity, you may be able to claim paternity if the mother did not perform the insemination through a physician. In the case of Jhordan C. v. Mary K., the California Court of Appeals determined that a man who provided semen to inseminate a friend could establish his paternity because the woman did not use a licensed physician to perform the artificial insemination. Contact a Wallin & Klarich California paternity attorney for more information about your rights as a sperm donor.
Can I open a paternity case before the child is born?
Yes. The mother may open a paternity case while she is still pregnant with the child. If the alleged father denies being the child’s biological father, a paternity test can be requested. However, the paternity test will only be performed after the baby is born. Some labs usually wait until the baby is six months old or older before performing the paternity test.
What is DNA testing and do I have to pay for it?
DNA is biological material that determines an individual’s characteristics. Every person’s DNA is unique. Children inherit DNA from both their mother and father. Thus, when DNA is tested, professionals compare the DNA between the mother, father, and child. If the child has DNA comparable to both the mother and father, both are considered the legal parents of the child.
If you request DNA testing, you and the other alleged parent would both pay for the DNA testing. If the DNA results come back and you wish to dispute the results, you would have to pay for further DNA testing.
When will I be the “presumed” parent?
You would be presumed to be the parent of a child in the following situations:
• If you are married to the child’s mother when the child is conceived or born
• If you attempted to marry the child’s mother before the child was conceived or born
• If you married the mother after the child’s birth and agreed to place your name on the child’s birth certificate or to support the child; OR
• If you treated the child as if the child were your own (otherwise known as Parentage by Estoppel)
Where can I find a skilled paternity attorney in California?
Paternity cases are very difficult to understand. Thus, having an experienced paternity attorney by your side can help tremendously. The skilled California paternity lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have the knowledge and experience you need to help you achieve the best possible result in your paternity case. With over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients achieve favorable results in paternity cases, the paternity attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can advise you on the best course of action for your paternity case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Victorville, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Torrance and Ventura , there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney available wherever you happen to live.
To consult with a Wallin & Klarich family law lawyer, please call (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.