Paternity Issues

father and baby boy outside

Establishing paternity within the court system is not always as simple as one might expect. Many people are surprised to learn that paternity within the legal system is not always a matter of biological fatherhood.

Because paternity can be a complicated matter in the state of California, it’s critical that you contact an experienced paternity lawyer when facing a paternity issue. A San Diego paternity lawyer can help you to protect yourself and learn what to expect during the legal paternity process.

Paternity Presumption for Spouses

As far as a father’s rights in divorce are concerned in California, there is a presumption of paternity given to the mother’s husband at the time the child was born. However, the assumption of paternity for the mother’s husband can present a variety of legal issues if the husband is not the biological father of the child.

Complex parentage disputes can be initiated by either spouse during a divorce. A third party could also add a layer of difficulty when the paternity of a presumed father is in question. For instance, an alleged biological father may start legal proceedings with the help of a paternity lawyer to establish his paternity of a child who already has a father presumed by marriage.

Legal Issues Affecting Unmarried Parents

man and son walking on beach

Paternity Orders

Unmarried parents also face several potential legal problems related to parentage. In many of these scenarios, a paternity order, which is a document prepared by a court that establishes a child’s legal parents, will be required to resolve parentage-related legal issues.

Protecting a Father’s Rights in Divorce

If you are unmarried, there is no automatic presumption of paternity even if you are the child’s biological father. If you believe that you are the father of a child and want to establish your parental rights, a paternity order may be required.

Paternity Dispute

One of the most common paternity disputes that occur is when an unmarried man is alleged to be the father of a child, but the man denies paternity. In these cases, a paternity order is needed to refute or affirm the man’s denial before further court orders related to parental rights and obligations can be made.

The court will review facts and evidence relevant to establishing the paternity of the child, which might include DNA paternity testing.

Get Help from a Paternity Lawyer Today

Because significant rights and obligations, such as child custody, support, and visitation, are all tied to parentage, it is important to quickly address any uncertainties regarding paternity.

If you are not the biological father of your spouse’s child or have questions about whether you fathered your spouse’s child, you should reach out for legal assistance to navigate your rights as a father in divorce proceedings. The ramifications of a paternity order are substantial. Working with an attorney could be key in obtaining the best outcome possible for your situation.

As a knowledgeable paternity lawyer who has handled numerous paternity cases, I, Michael C. MacNeil, can develop a strategy to help you address any difficult legal issues that apply to your situation.

What You Can Expect from San Diego Paternity Lawyer Michael C. MacNeil

Family law cases, including those involving paternity matters, can be hard both emotionally and legally. For this reason, as a leading paternity lawyer in San Diego, I am passionate about customizing and personalizing each of my client’s cases.

This means that you won’t ever have to worry about dealing with a secretary or paralegal when you want to talk. Instead, I will personally attend to you as your legal representative, serving as your point of contact. And I will always put your best interests above the bottom line.

During an initial consultation, I will help you to determine what legal action you need to take based on your unique paternity situation. For example, if you are going through divorce, I will explain how a father’s rights in divorce impact you and the other party.

Be sure to request a free consultation with me today to learn more about your rights and responsibilities in a complicated paternity situation.