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Posted on in Paternity

California paternity attorneyIn California, having a legal mother and father can be very beneficial to a child. But not every child is born to a family with a legal father. California recognizes a child’s legal paternity if the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, or if the father is living with the mother and child in a family-like situation and demonstrates a commitment to the child. But if California does not automatically recognize a child’s paternity, there are two ways to establish it. A Sunnyvale paternity attorney can help.

Voluntary Declaration of Paternity

If a child’s mother and father wish to voluntarily establish the child’s paternity, they may sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP) form, acknowledging that they are the child’s parents. If the mother gives birth in a hospital, the hospital will provide her with the form, and, if the father signs at the hospital, his name will be put on the child’s birth certificate. If the parents sign the VDP later, a new birth certificate, including the father’s name, can be issued.

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Posted on in Paternity

California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyWhen establishing paternity, or lack thereof, there is a chance that a “paternity test” or a DNA test will become a necessity. In some cases, one or both individuals receive an unexpected response, leaving them left to wonder the validity of the results and how it affects their case. Can these tests give incorrect answers?

The short answer is “yes.”

Can a test be wrong? Absolutely. No test is 100% accurate all of the time. There are paternity testing labs that do each test twice to ensure the validity of the results, however not every company does this, even some of the accredited facilities. Although there are several methods for running the comparison, the simplest and most non-invasive solution is collecting a DNA sample through a cheek swab of both the child and the potential parent. Scientists at the lab review the DNA strands within the sample.

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Posted on in Paternity

California paternity lawyer, California mediation attorneyA presumed biological father is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. For many families who have alternate circumstances, establishing paternity becomes a necessity later in life. The most common event requiring a biological link is if the two parents separate. Without definitive parentage, issues arise regarding visitation and custody schedules, as well as financial support arrangements. The process to create a court-recognized parental line can be quickly completed. However, this process can also become difficult and drawn-out without cooperation and preparation.

The Hard Way

When choosing which news to receive first, 75 percent of Americans prefer to hear the bad news first. Armed with this fun fact, let us discuss the hard way of establishing parentage. Typically, parentage cases are complicated only when one side is making a dispute. In cases such as these, it may become necessary to go before a judge. Often the judge creates an order for a DNA test to determine the truth of the matter. There are many reasons to keep the issues away from the courts, including:

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Posted on in Paternity

California paternity attorney, California family law attorneyThere are many reasons for establishing paternity. Whether for peace of mind, for medical history or for child support, no reason is too small and doing so can be beneficial for the child or children involved. Paternity testing may be initiated by either the mother or the father and likewise can be challenged by either party. However, once parentage is established, it may be difficult to alter the determination of paternity. 

Why Anyone May Challenge

There are many reasons why someone may wish to legally prove that the listed biological father is not scientifically the biological father. A father may believe that the child is his and want to be a part of his child’s life, yet the mother may have claimed someone else as the father in order to keep the real father away. No matter the reason, challenging paternity tests may be the way to obtain the resolution you are hoping for.

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Posted on in Paternity

California DNA testing attorney, California paternity lawyerThe reasons for establishing paternity are seemingly endless. This is beneficial to both biological mothers and biological fathers. However, while one may be certain who the parents are of the child, the other parent may not be so sure about it. This can lead to a wide variety of discrepancies and it may result in the dispute being decided in a court of law. Although a courtroom is certainly one way of establishing parentage, there are a few different methods to establishing paternity.

Benefits to Establishing Parentage

Establishing paternity gives a sense of security to the child that was previously unsure of who their parent was. It establishes a bond that will surpass all others if treated correctly. Furthermore, in addition to the emotional stability benefits, there are a few others to touch upon:

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