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Paternity Lawyers in San Diego

Why Are Paternity Actions Necessary in California?

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.

Reasons to Establish Paternity

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.

Establishing paternity is important for a variety of reasons, including:

  • It provides legal rights to the child
  • It establishes rights for the child’s father
  • It allows the mother to seek assistance for the child
  • It gives the parents the legal right and obligation to provide support for child
  • It allows the parents the right to block an adoption of his or her child
  • It can stop foster care placement of the child
  • It allows parents to collect child support

How Can I Establish Paternity in California?

A person who wishes to establish legal paternity in California can do so in one of several ways:

  • Voluntary: 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.
  • Local Child Support Agency: You can file a paternity action through the agency, which can also assist you with creating visitation or custody orders.
  • Court Order: You can file a petition with the court to request orders for custody, support, and visitation. A hearing before a judge may be required.

It is important that you work with an experienced professional, such as a family law attorney, to help with the process and make sure that you are receiving custody and support orders that reflect your child's best interests.

Contact Our Office for a Free 30-Minute Consultation

Due to the emotional and financial responsibilities that come along 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 today for a free 30-minute consultation on establishing paternity. We can be reached at (858) 943-2060.

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