San Diego Paternity Rights Attorneys
What You Need to Know About Paternity Rights in California
Although we don’t often think about it, paternity is an issue that can have a huge impact on a child’s life, especially when the paternity is in dispute. Having doubts about a child’s parentage can be traumatic for everyone involved. Unfortunately, the law in this area can be very complicated, often making it difficult to come to a quick resolution.
Paternity can come into dispute when the father’s name is not on the child’s birth certificate, or when there is some question about whether the correct father’s name is listed. In the state of California, if the mother is unmarried, then for the father to be listed on the birth certificate, he must sign a Declaration of Paternity, either at the hospital or at a later date.
Paternity is in dispute when a father's name does not appear on the child's birth certificate, and this creates problems. Having legally established paternity is of extreme importance for all parties. Mothers may not collect child support without first establishing paternity and fathers cannot establish orders for custody or visitation without first determining parentage. Fortunately, establishing paternity is relatively simple and doing so allows the parents to proceed on a host of other legal issues. Our San Diego paternity lawyers at Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., have more than 35 years of experience helping both women and men obtain paternity orders. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
Obtaining Paternity Orders For Men And Women in San Diego
California courts will send the parties for genetic testing if paternity is in dispute and an additional hearing will be held shortly thereafter. If testing shows the man is not the father then the issue is resolved and the case is over. If the man is found to be the biological parent then the Court will move forward with issues such as child custody, child support, and child support arrears. It is common for people to be frustrated that these additional issues cannot be established in California without first establishing paternity but the fact remains that it is a necessary first step. Quickly establishing paternity willl allow you to deal with the larger issues sooner rather than later. Having an attorney assist you can speed the process along.
The Steps Involved
The first step in most paternity disputes is that the California courts will send the parties for genetic testing. Once that is completed and the results are returned, an additional hearing will be held shortly thereafter. DNA testing methods include a SWAB Test and blood test. In general, DNA testing centers are easy to locate around the state and have reasonable costs.
If testing shows the man is not the father then the issue is resolved and the case is over. If the man is found to be the biological parent then the Court will move forward with issues such as child custody, child support, and child support arrears. Quickly establishing paternity will allow you to deal with important issues surrounding the welfare of your child sooner rather than later, or to conclusively prove you are not the parent. Having an attorney assist you can speed the process along.
If you have been determined to be the father of a child, then you are entitled to petition for visitation and custody rights. California has two primary categories of custody, physical and legal custody. The former means that the child lives in your household while the latter indicates that you have the right and responsibility to participate in the decision making for the child, including education, medical care, and other major issues.
Choose a Firm with Experience in Paternity Cases
As a certified family law expert, our founder, Thomas M. Huguenor, fully understands the process and will help you get your case moving along quickly. Once retained, our team will petition the court for DNA testing so that the larger issues, such as whether a parent should be allowed to move a child away from California, can be decided. We will conduct necessary discovery so all of the parties' rights and obligations may be established once paternity is confirmed. Establishing parentage opens many doors for San Diego parents as well as the children themselves. Do not risk your child's future on a less experienced firm. Contact our Southern California family lawyers today for a free consultation.
San Diego Family Law Attorneys Dealing With Paternity Matters
If you are seeking to establish paternity, you also have goals in mind of how life should look once parentage is beyond dispute. At your initial consultation, Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., will determine what your overall goals are and develop a plan for helping you reach them. We have a track record of achieving results that were previously declared "unattainable" by other attorneys. With more than 35 years of experience, there are few situations in California family courts that we have not dealt with. Contact our San Diego law office today at (858) 458-9500 to schedule a consultation.
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