Paternity Attorney Serving Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, and all of Los Angeles County
Paternity is the legal process of establishing a child’s father. It is mostly used when unmarried parents have a child. For married parents, it is presumed that the husband is the father, although paternity can be disputed.
Why Paternity is Important
Parentage must be established before certain rights can be enforced. For mothers, it is required to collect child support. For fathers, it is required if they wish to seek visitation or custody rights. Similarly, if a husband believes that his wife had a child with another man, he may wish to refute paternity to avoid being ordered to pay child support in the event of a divorce.
How to Establish Paternity
There are two ways to establish paternity in California. If both parents are in agreement, they may file a voluntary Declaration of Paternity with the court. If paternity is disputed, the parent wishing to establish paternity will have to obtain a court order. When a paternity petition is filed, the court will generally order DNA testing for the child and purported father. If the test is positive, the court will then sign an order establishing parentage. The parents would then need to resolve other issues such as custody and support either by mutual agreement or through hearings in front of a family law judge.
If you’re involved in a paternity dispute in the Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, or any other area of Los Angeles County, contact the Law Office of Michelle L. Kazadi to schedule a consultation.