Just as a mother in California has legal rights and responsibilities, so does the father of a child. However, there are instances when a woman claims that a man is the father of a child while the man in question denies paternity. It is also possible for a man to believe he is the father of a child while a woman says he is not.
Determining the father’s identity can be an invasive process and can result in a man paying financial support for years. Some men find they are defending themselves against accusations of paternity, while others may struggle to prove their parental rights. If you are facing a paternity suit or other issue, it is important that you protect yourself by speaking with an attorney at the Men’s Legal Center.
Legal Assumptions and Declarations
California law makes certain assumptions about paternity. For example, if a child is born to a wedded mother, the law will assume that her husband is the father. The only instances where this is not true is when the father raises an objection. If the parents of a child are not married and not registered as domestic partners, the law will recognize the father if he chooses to sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity at the hospital or shortly afterwards.
Contested Paternity in California
Legal issues arise when a father claims he is not the child’s father, but the mother claims he is. This type of situation generally plays out in one of two ways:
- The mother seeks help from the Department of Child Support Services who will bring an action to establish paternity. This type of action involves genetic testing to prove the father is a match. The Department of Child Support Services can request a child support order if the man is indeed a match.
- The mother can also go to the court as an individual and request a paternity test. The court can order that a man be tested to see if he is the father. If so, he can be ordered to pay child support.
Protect Your Paternity Rights By Retaining a San Diego Paternity Rights Lawyer
If you are being named as the father of a child you do not believe to be yours, seek the help of an experienced paternity rights lawyer. In addition, if you believe you are the father of a child but the mother is resisting your efforts to establish paternity, an attorney may be able to help.
The team at the Men’s Legal Center focuses on helping men who are facing paternity, family law and divorce issues. It is important to understand that when California law recognizes you as a father, you will face a lifetime of obligations. To ensure your rights are fully protected, contact the San Diego paternity rights lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center today.