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When and How Can I Dispute Parentage in California?

Posted on in Paternity

Los Gatos, CA paternity dispute lawyerAlthough the paternity of a child is sometimes pretty cut and dry, there are some circumstances in which one parent or the other wishes to dispute parentage. The process is easier to start if parentage has not yet been legally established. However, if parentage has already been determined by a court order, you may not be able to fight it. In these cases, it is crucial to work with a skilled family law attorney who can protect the rights of all parties involved.

If Parentage Has Not Been Legally Determined

If a child is born to married parents or adopted by a married couple, the parentage is legally presumed. This also extends to couples who are domestic partners. In biological paternity cases, either party may request a DNA test, which will prove whether a man is the child’s biological father. To do so, you will have to fill out the proper forms for the court. An experienced family law attorney can help walk you through the process. If a paternity test shows that the child in question is yours, you may then pursue a custody agreement, or you may be required to pay child support.

In same-sex and/or adoptive cases, a paternity test may not solve the issue of parentage. A parent may be able to demonstrate that they are the child’s biological parent, but if the other party wants to prove legal parentage, or if the couple adopted the child, then these are situations in which both parents may need to sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. If all are in agreement on the declaration, then the custody agreement can be worked out after that.

If Parentage Has Already Been Court-Ordered

Your chances of getting a parentage judgment canceled after it has already been decided may be slim to none. Whether you feel you have been wrongly named as the parent or incorrectly denied parentage when the child is actually yours, it can be difficult to get a court order changed. The legal process of challenging a paternity order can be long and complicated. Without a doubt, you will be better off hiring a knowledgeable attorney to help you through this process.

Contact a Los Gatos Paternity Attorney

At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we will guide and advise you through each and every step of the parentage determination process. Contact an experienced Los Gatos, CA family law attorney who will fight for your rights. Call 408-395-8822 to set up a free consultation about your paternity case today.

Sources: 

https://www.courts.ca.gov/1202.htm

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