San Jose Paternity Attorney
Representing Mothers & Fathers in Santa Clara County
The subject of establishing parentage / paternity can be incredibly sensitive when you are single and not married to the other parent of the child. Whether you are asking the parent of your child to take a paternity test or you have been told that you will have a child but you are not sure the child is yours, it is important that you consult a Santa Clara County attorney.
A San Jose paternity lawyer at Magdalena Law Group can assist you with the legal process of establishing or disputing paternity. Once paternity is legally confirmed and established, we can assist clients with creating child support and child custody/visitation orders. Whatever your individual circumstances may be, we can personally guide you through the process and protect your rights along the way.
How to Establish Paternity in California
When a married couple has a child, the husband of the mother is presumed to be the child's father. In this scenario, paternity is automatically established and is rarely disputed. If a man is living in a household with a woman and a child and acts as the child's father, then the man can be presumed to be the father of the child under California law. This is true even if the man is not the biological father of the child. In situations where a baby is born out of wedlock, establishing paternity may require additional legal steps.
A few of the ways to establish paternity include:
- A court order established by a judge (who may order DNA testing)
- Voluntarily signing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity
If a paternity case ends up in court and the father refuses to cooperate with genetic testing, the judge may declare him to be the father by default.
Reasons for Establishing Paternity
The relationship between a father and a child is very important. A healthy father-child relationship can provide strong emotional support for the child and allow the child to benefit from health insurance, child support, and other benefits through the father. Learn more about establishing paternity when you talk to one of our lawyers in San Jose. We handle each case with the utmost discretion and professionalism to ensure your privacy.
How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in California?
California law states that paternity can be established up to three years after a child's 18th birthday. If the individual happens to be married when their child is born, and he or she has questions about paternity, they can seek a court order to get a blood test. However, this must be done within two years of the birth of the child.
Does a Birth Certificate Establish Paternity in California?
In California, if two people have a child together but aren't legally married, then the father's name will not be on the birth certificate. This is not set in stone though, and can be revised with two steps:
1) Either signing a voluntary Declaration of Paternity form that the hospital provides
2) Or by signing the form later in the courts to establish paternity. Be aware that there will be a fee to alter the birth certificate.
Once the forms are signed and revised, then the father will have legal visitation and custody rights, along with any financial responsibilities.
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