La Jolla Paternity Lawyer
Legal Representation for All Paternity Issues
According to California law, the husband is presumed to be the father of a child that is born during a marriage. However, there is no presumption of paternity for a child when the parents are not married. In this case, paternity must be legally established. If you need an experienced paternity attorney in La Jolla, contact Dan McCandless Law, APC. We can guide you through the process and protect the best interests of you and your child.
Get started by calling (858) 266-9171 to schedule a consultation.
The Importance of Establishing Paternity
If the parents were not married at the time of a child’s conception and birth, you will need to establish paternity. When there is doubt about the paternity or you believe you are the biological father of a child born when you are not married to the mother, you will need to establish paternity to enjoy the legal rights and responsibilities of fatherhood.
Establishing paternity provides certain rights and privileges to the child, including:
- Financial support from both parents
- Inheritance rights
- Qualifying for certain benefits, such as social security or veteran’s benefits
- Insurance coverage
In addition to the financial benefits, establishing paternity offers emotional support for the child and the natural parent. The child will benefit from knowing his or her parents and enjoying a relationship and time spent with both parents.
How to Establish Paternity
There are two main ways to establish paternity. The parents may choose to acknowledge paternity by signing a Declaration of Paternity. This is a legal document that must be voluntarily signed by both the mother and father. The form must be notarized and filed with the California Department of Child Support Services. This can be done with the help of the hospital staff at the time of the birth or at a later date.
The other way to establish paternity is through a court order. The court may order that both parents and the child take a paternity test. A parent may seek a court order for a variety of reasons, such as when paternity is disputed, one parent is avoiding responsibility, or the mother is not cooperating with the natural father’s efforts to be part of the child’s life.
Securing Your Parental Rights
Once paternity has been established, you will enjoy the rights and responsibilities of a parent. This includes custody and visitation rights, which will be established by the court. In addition to setting a custody and visitation schedule, the court may order child support to meet the financial needs of the child.
Dan McCandless is a La Jolla paternity lawyer and a parent who understands family law cases from a family perspective. He offers straightforward and direct legal advice for our clients and guides them through every stage of the process, from establishing paternity to assisting with custody, visitation, and child support.
If you need help establishing or disputing paternity, call (858) 266-9171 for a consultation.