Issues of paternity can be extremely sensitive in nature and can have a tremendous impact on the futures of both the parents and the children involved. At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., our seasoned and dedicated team can help you navigate the waters of paternity law.
California explicitly recognizes that the state has a compelling interest in establishing paternity for all children. For unmarried persons, obtaining a judicial order establishing paternity is a critical precursor to obtaining a child support order and ensuring that children have access to all legal rights and benefits under the law, including social security, health insurance, and inheritance rights. For married persons, it may be necessary to rebut the presumption of paternity. We represent clients who seek to prove or disprove paternity, and offer competent counsel in both types of paternity actions.
Paternity And Married Persons
California’s Family Code presumes that if a child is born to a married mother, her spouse is the father of that child. If the mother becomes pregnant through donor insemination or other assisted reproduction, and the mother has the consent of her spouse, the spouse is likewise presumed to be the legal parent of the child.
If a child is conceived through a heterosexual union, the paternity presumption may be rebutted if court-authorized genetic testing indicates that the spouse is not the child’s father. If you suspect that paternity may be at issue, the guidance of legal counsel is essential to protect both your rights and the rights and best interests of your child.
Paternity And Unmarried Persons
A father may voluntarily declare that he is the parent of a child. This voluntary declaration is recognized by the state of California as having the same force and effect as a judgment for paternity issued by a court, and is the basis for establishing orders for child custody, visitation, and child support.
Similarly, a mother may seek to establish that a purported father is indeed the biological father of a child. This requires petitioning the court to establish paternity and involves genetic testing to provide an evidentiary basis for resolving paternity disputes. To speak with a family law attorney in San Francisco about paternity issues in California please call us at 415.834.1120.