A paternity action is defined as a civil action which officially deems a man to be a child’s father. While this action is often done by a mother seeking child support, it can be done for other reasons including a father seeking child custody or visitation of his child or a child that wants a relationship or public assistance from a parent.
When a married woman has a child, the law automatically assumes that the person to whom she is married is the child’s father. However, in cases where the mother is not married, the biological father is not automatically considered to be the child’s father until he or the mother establishes legal paternity.
A person who wishes to establish legal paternity in California must file a petition and enter a court order, or show written acknowledgment signed by each of the child’s parents. Then, this must be recorded with the birth certificate of the child.
Due to the emotional and financial responsibilities that come along with with being a parent, it is important that a child’s legal parents are identified as soon as possible. Contact our San Diego family law attorneys at Cage & Miles LLP today for a free 30-minute consultation on establishing paternity. We can be reached at (858) 943-2060.