Understanding the importance of establishing paternity
Paternity is an important concept because it shapes so much of what it means for a child. In California, the law automatically assumes that a husband is a child’s father if that child is born to a married couple. However, if a couple is not married, there are some additional steps that are needed. In most cases, this is not a contentious issue.
If two parents are unmarried at the time their child is born, but then decide to get married, they can sign a “legitimation form” that will ensure that both parents have the rights and obligations that they would have otherwise had if married at the time of the birth.
Will a DNA test be required?
In the instances described above, a DNA test will not likely be required. However, there are situations in which one may be necessary. This could include if:
- The alleged father is not providing for the child or is denying he is the father.
- A man believes he is the father of a child and wants parental rights.
With help from an attorney, you will be able to petition the family court to order a DNA test.
Where can problems arise by not establishing paternity?
California law requires that both parents contribute to their child’s well-being. Establishing a child’s paternity ensures that both the parents’ and child’s rights are upheld. If a couple is married, the child is likely to have support from both parents. However, in the event, a couple divorces or is separated, the only way to enforce issues regarding child support, child custody, and visitation.
Establishing paternity is also necessary for a child to receive any inheritance or property from their father in the event of the father’s death.
Turn to us when you have paternity issues
Establishing paternity is valuable. Maybe you are a mother struggling to get support from a father. Perhaps you are a father who is being denied parental rights. With help from an experienced Westlake Village paternity attorney, you can get through this. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we are certified family law specialists who understand all aspects of the paternity process. Even if your case is not related to a divorce, we will still be able to help you establish paternity. Let us help you through this today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.