Most paternity actions are a formality that do not require court proceedings, where both parties are able to agree about parentage as a prerequisite to child custody and support proceedings.
In certain cases, an unmarried father’s declaration of parentage is sufficient for child support and custody orders to be established.
In cases, however, where there is a dispute with regard to paternity, parentage determinations can have a decisive effect upon the viability and the outcomes of child custody, child visitation and child support proceedings in California courts.
In certain situations, a father may want to establish his parental status in order to ensure his ability to be involved in his child’s life and upbringing. Such outcomes can include gaining legal custody of a child, gaining joint-custody or child visitation rights, and challenging the adoption of a child by a step-parent.
In other cases, a mother may wish to file a court petition to have a presumed father confirmed as the biological parent of her child, in order to ensure the financial best interests of the child and encourage paternal involvement.
In such cases, once paternity itself is established, our firm is uniquely skilled at discovering the benefits to which your child is entitled, via tax, inheritance & social security records, medical records & insurance coverage, and petitioning the court for child support arrangements.
Our paternity attorneys are highly experienced at guiding both mothers and fathers through the process of both establishing the paternity of their children, and pursuing their best interests once paternity is established by the court.
In some situations, even if actual paternity is not in dispute, it must be legally established prior to relevant child support and custody proceedings – typically in cases where the parents were not married when the child was born.
De Facto Parentage
California law allows for common law de facto parentage where someone has no biological or existing legal relationship to a child, but has played a consistent parental role in the child’s life.
In some cases, same-sex couples have found this a beneficial approach to ensuring both parties’ ability to continue to play a parental role and to safeguard the interests of a child for whom they have acted as a parent.
The attorneys at the family law firm of Lurkis, Joyce & Del Bove, LLP represent clients in paternity proceedings and all matters related to child support & child custody throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.