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It Is Important To Establish Legal Parentage Of Your Child

Parentage is a key factor in establishing court-ordered custody, visitation rights and child support payments.

If you were married before your child was born, the law automatically establishes that you and your spouse are the child's legal parents.

This can be challenged and proven otherwise in court. In California, this is true of all married people, including same-sex couples and registered domestic partners after January 2005.

If you got married after the child was born and you are not the biological father, parentage may be established by putting your name on the child's birth certificate or by agreeing in word and action to raise the child as your own.

For unmarried parents, parentage will need to be established legally through a court order or by both parents signing a declaration of paternity document.

Disputing Paternity

If a father refuses to admit that he is the parent of a child, the court may order genetic testing of all parties involved.

A man who is told that he is the father of a child has a right to request a DNA or genetic test to firmly determine whether he is actually the biological father of the child. A DNA test will be conducted on the mother, father and the named child.

The California courts have important restrictions on DNA tests done at home or in a private medical facility.

Efficiently Helping You With Parentage Issues

California allows legal parentage to be established either by a court order or out of court by both parents signing a voluntary declaration of parentage.

It gets complex in cases where a father proves he is biologically the father of a child, but he does not have fathers' rights or responsibilities for the child until legal parentage is established.

The same applies for same-sex couples who are not married. They need to establish with the court their intentions to parent the child and that they behaved that way to be granted legal custody of the child.

California courts have legally recognized more than two parents when it was demonstrated that it would hurt the child if the other parents were not also legally recognized.

Legal mothers and fathers must financially support their child. They have all the rights and responsibilities of parenting and may request a custodial arrangement for parenting time orders from the court. Responsibilities include paying:

  • Child support
  • Half of the uninsured health care costs
  • Child care expenses

Our attorneys at Langlois Family Law, APC, can help guide you through the complex process of establishing paternity. For a consultation with a lawyer, call our Calabasas office at 818-225-9900. You may also reach out to us online.