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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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California child custody attorney, California family law attorneyEstablishing Parentage

California law automatically assumes both parents are the biological parents if they are married at the time of the birth. However, this is not true if the parents are not married to each other. Parentage of the child must first be established before any custody issues are pursued. This may be done simply by filing a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This may have been done at the hospital at the time of birth, which would have put both parents’ names on the birth certificate. If it was not completed immediately, it may be done later. This form may be picked up and filled out at any of the following locations:

  • Local Child Support Agency (LCSA),
  • Registrar of Births,
  • Family Law Facilitator’s office at your local Superior Court, or
  • Welfare offices.

The form may be completed at these offices or must be signed and witnessed by a notary public. Once this form is completed, it is not effective until it has been filed at the California Department of Child Support Services Paternity Opportunity Program (POP).  

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