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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.


California divorce lawyerThe end of a long-term relationship is often a difficult time for everyone involved, and during a divorce or break-up, couples will likely experience a great deal of emotional turbulence as they establish new living situations, separate their finances, and determine how to move forward with their lives. These situations often involve a high level of conflict, and disagreements can become even more contentious when children are involved.

The decisions made about child custody will affect parents’ and children’s lives for years to come, so divorcing parents should be sure they fully understand their rights and keep their children’s best interests in mind. Here are some tips to follow when working to reach a resolution in child custody disputes:

  1. Do not involve children in conflict - It is important to protect children from arguments between parents, allowing them to maintain good relationships with both their parents going forward. Never try to alienate your children against their other parent or use them to send messages to your ex.


California family lawyerIf you have children and are newly divorced, in the process of divorce, or seriously contemplating divorce, the issue of child custody is surely on your mind. You may be anxiously anticipating a contentious court battle, for example. The truth is, however, is that the kind of hostile courtroom scenarios depicted in television and film are not representative of the vast majority of dispute resolution.

Divorce is common and in many cases mutual and free from larger-than-life rancor and, when children are involved, with ex-spouses working together to share custody. Such sharing, in legal terms, is known as “joint custody.” An experienced Sunnyvale family law attorney can help determine whether joint custody is best for you and your children.

Joint Custody Is Conditional on Certain Minimum Criteria

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