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Paternity


The Men’s Legal Center – San Diego Paternity Rights Lawyers

The father of every child in California has certain legal rights and responsibilities in relation to that child, and one legal issue that can arise when a child is born is deciphering the identity of the father.  When a father’s identity is obtained, he will face the reality of at least 18 years of financial support.  Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not always clear, and there are situations where men who are not the father of a child must defend themselves against such an accusation.  If you could face this situation, you need to seek the help of San Diego paternity rights attorneys as soon as possible.  Below is a brief overview of this issue.

Assumptions and Declarations

There are certain assumptions that California law recognizes when it comes to parentage.  For instance, if a child is born to a mother who is married, the law assumes that the spouses are the parents absent some sort of objection that is raised by the would-be father.  In addition, if parents of a child are not married but registered as domestic partners, California law will make the same assumption regarding parentage.

In addition, if parents of a child are not married and not registered as domestic partners, those who wish to do so can also sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity either at the hospital where the child is born or afterward.  These situations are relatively straightforward.  Complications, however, tend to arise when paternity is contested.

Contested California Paternity

Generally, there are two situations in which paternity can be established if it is contested by the would-be father.  The first involves the mother seeking help from the Department of Child Support Services, or DCSS.  The DCSS can bring an action that establishes paternity, and this action usually involves genetic testing.  If the testing on a father proves to be a match, the DCSS can also request a child support order.

The other manner in which paternity can be established is if the mother goes to court as an individual and requests a paternity test of the would-be father.  Much like the DCSS-assisted motion, the mother would request genetic testing that would be done to determine whether a particular man is in fact the father of the child.

How San Diego Paternity Rights Lawyers Can Help

If you are a man who is facing the prospect of being named the father of a child and you’re not convinced that you are in fact that person, you should not simply agree to be named the father without the proper proof.  When California law recognizes a man as a father, he faces a lifetime of obligations in several regards.

Therefore, you owe it to yourself and to that child to properly enforce your legal rights.  Contact the San Diego paternity rights lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.