Paternity Issues

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.

In California, there is a presumption of paternity given to the mother’s husband at the time the child was born.

If you’re facing a paternity issue, contact an experienced paternity lawyer who can help you protect yourself and learn what to expect during the legal paternity process.

Paternity Presumption for Spouses

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 a 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. An alleged biological father may start legal proceedings to establish his paternity of a child who already has a father presumed by marriage.

Since significant rights and obligations such as child custody, support, and visitation are all tied into 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 be speaking with a paternity lawyer. As a knowledgeable family attorney who has handled numerous paternity cases, I can develop a strategy to help you address any difficult legal issues that apply to your situation.

Legal Issues Affecting Unmarried Parents

Paternity Orders

Unmarried parents also face several potential legal problems related to parentage

In these cases, 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 in many of these scenarios.

Protect Your Parental Rights

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

Engaging the services of a paternity lawyer could be key in obtaining the outcome you seek. Make sure to speak with an attorney about your rights and responsibilities in a complicated paternity situation.

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. The ramifications of a paternity order are substantial, so be sure to request a free consultation with a skilled paternity lawyer if you are facing this type of issue.