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What Are Some Common Paternity Issues in the State of California?

Posted on in Paternity

Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for establishing paternityAccording to California law, paternity can be established through one of two legal avenues. In many cases, the parent will elect to sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. In other cases, a paternity test may be ordered by the court to determine the identity of a child’s biological father. Unfortunately, establishing paternity can be much more complicated than most would like to assume. In short, paternity means establishing that a person is the legal father of a child. 

In the state of California, paternity must be established through a legal process, and this must be completed before the courts can decide on issues such as child custody and child support. When addressing issues related to establishing paternity, it is important to hire a skilled attorney to assist you throughout the legal process. 

Complications in Paternity Cases 

While many people believe that establishing paternity is fairly straightforward, they are not entirely correct. Paternity cases can be incredibly complicated and difficult to resolve, depending on the circumstances of the birth and the relationship status of the parents. According to California state law, when a married couple (or a couple who have registered as domestic partners) has a baby, they are assumed to be the child’s parents, and they are automatically established as the legal parents at the time of the birth. However, if a couple is unmarried, the father has two options: to voluntarily sign a declaration of paternity or to request a paternity test. Generally speaking, it can be wise for an unwed father to request a DNA test, since signing a declaration of paternity has long-term implications regarding the responsibility to raise the child. 

In some cases, the establishment of paternity can be legally challenging. Things can become complicated if the child’s biological father is not the man who is married to the mother. In these instances, the biological father will have two years to petition the court for a paternity test. If the biological father misses the two year window, the husband will legally be the child’s father for the rest of the child’s life. It should be noted, however, that if the husband believes that the child is not his, he can request a paternity test outside of the initial two year period. 

In order to establish child custody agreements or child support, one must fully establish paternity. When complications arise in a paternity case, it is wise to hire an attorney who can help you understand the legal issues that must be addressed and the processes that must be followed to ensure that your child will have a legal relationship with both parents. 

Contact a Los Gatos, CA Paternity Lawyer 

With years of legal experience in California, Attorney Benita Ventresca has an intricate understanding of the state’s paternity laws. At the Law Office of Benita Ventresca, we understand that paternity cases can become seriously complicated, and we are here to help you address and resolve any issues that may arise. Whether you are a single mom looking to secure child support or an unwed father hoping to have a connection with your child, we can help you complete the process of establishing paternity as smoothly and effectively as possible. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with an experienced Los Gatos family law attorney, call us today at 408-395-8822. 




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20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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