When a child is born to a married couple in California, the husband is considered the child’s legal father. However, what if a child’s parents are unmarried and are no longer in a relationship with one another? In such cases, if the child’s mother wants to seek child support or if the child’s father wants to seek parenting time, parentage, also known as paternity, needs to be legally established.
Why it is important to establish paternity
In addition to child support and parenting time, there are a variety of reasons why it is good to establish paternity. First, the child will have legal documentation establishing who their parents are. In addition, both parents name will be included on the child’s birth certificate. The child will have access to family health history and health and life insurance. The child will also have inheritance rights and the right to Social Security benefits and veteran’s benefits, if available. There are many good reasons to establish paternity.
How to establish paternity
One way to establish paternity is for both parents to sign a voluntary declaration of parentage. This form establishes both parents as the legal parents of the child and avoids the need to go to court. However, signing the form must be voluntary.
If the purported father believes he is not the child’s biological parent, he can request a genetic (DNA) test to determine whether he is the child’s biological father. This is generally done through a cheek swab. If the genetic test shows the purported father is the child’s biological parent, the court can legally establish the man as the child’s legal parent.
Learn more about paternity in California
Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about child custody and child support in California are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.