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Posted on in Paternity

California divorce lawyerIn 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.

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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California family lawyerRaising a child on your own is hard work. It is one thing if you chose to be a single mother, or if the father of the child has passed away, or if there is been an amicable split resulting in sole custody. If, however, you need and deserve the support of the father of the child but are not receiving it, that is very different. It is, you will be relieved to learn, possible to obtain a child support order in a California court, compelling the child’s father to pay child support on a regular basis.

When this process becomes saddled with an unwanted layer of complexity, however, is when there is a dispute as to who is the father of the child. Obviously, only the biological father of the child may be compelled by a state court to furnish child support payments. Prerequisite to a child support order, in some cases as you have now likely deduced, is establishing paternity. Help with paternity matters of all kinds is available from a dedicated Los Gatos family law attorney.

A DNA Test May Be Used to Establish Paternity

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