The law allows for the assumption of paternity in certain cases, such as when parents are married at the time of conception or birth. However, in other instances, these rights must need to be legally established. In those cases, questions involving legal parental rights and the child’s rights can be more complicated.
Establishing paternity can be beneficial for both the mother and the father. If you are a father, you may wish to establish paternity to have the right to custody or to visit your child. Similarly, a mother may wish to establish paternity rights to compel financial support from her child’s father. No matter the reasons for going through this process, a dedicated Ventura County paternity lawyer could help. Legally identifying a child’s father can be a complicated and challenging process. By consulting with a committed family attorney, you could get the guidance you need every step of the way.
In California, the law provides two main ways to determine paternity rights in situations where the parents are not married. To do this, the parents can either voluntarily sign a declaration of parentage either at the hospital where the child was born or at a later date or get a court order.
Once paternity is established, it can be difficult to undo. This will be the case even if genetic testing later shows that the legal father is not biologically related to the child. Once the voluntary declaration is signed and filed with the Department of Child Support Services, it carries the same weight as a court order. Because of the seriousness and permanency of this process, it is important to consult an attorney in Ventura County when starting the process of establishing paternity.
Once the identity of a child’s legal father is determined, each parent typically has the same rights as the other. This means that each parent has an equal responsibility to financially support the child as well as the right to custody an visitation of the child. In many situations, a mother may go through the process of establishing paternity in order to have the right to request child support from her child’s father. Alternatively, a father may go through this process, so he has the right to request visitation or custody. If a father is required to pay child support and fails to do so, he could criminally charged. A lawyer in Ventura County could help a parent establish paternity and explain their rights following this process.
In addition to each parent’s rights changing, confirming paternity also entitles the child to certain rights. Any child will be entitled to rights upon the legal establishment of paternity such as:
Establishing legal paternity can be necessary for a host of legal, financial, and personal reasons. While determining the identity of a child’s father can be relatively simple in some cases, at other times, it can be more complicated. A Ventura County paternity lawyer could help you with the complicated process. Call our office today to schedule an initial case consultation.