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Rancho Cucamonga Paternity Lawyer

Establishing Paternity in California

Paternity is an area of the law that addresses the legal relationship between a father and his child. In most cases, if a couple is married before or around the time the child is born, it is assumed that the husband is the father. However, if a couple chooses to remain unmarried, it is very important for the father to claim the child as his.

If you need help securing child support from your ex or securing visitation rights with your child, you should speak with a paternity attorney in Rancho Cucamonga today.

Why Does Paternity Matter?

Establishing paternity is important because of the legal ramifications that entail. As the legally recognized father of a child, you have rights and responsibilities. Claiming paternity can offset the legal controversies that can later arise if a couple decides to dissolve their relationship.

The benefits of paternity include:

  • The child will receive support from both mother and father.
  • You have legal visitation rights.
  • You can gain full or partial custody of the child.
  • The child will benefit from a health insurance from either parent.
  • You will have access to family medical records.

How is Paternity Established?

Whether or not the parents are married, establishing paternity and legally requiring a second person to support a child is a key part of limiting the number of mothers who need to go on welfare.

Presuming Paternity: The Uniform Parentage Act

The National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws approved the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) in 2000 before changing it again in 2002 to properly create a way to legally establish the parentage of a child, whether or not the parents are married.

The UPA presumes a man to be the father of the child if he fulfills any of the criteria listed here:

  • He and the mother are married within 300 days of the child’s birth
  • He and the mother unsuccessfully attempted to get married before the child was born, but were prevented from doing so for any number of reasons. The child must also have been born within 300 days of the attempted marriage.
  • He and the mother get married after the child is born, he signs a paternity statement, is named on the birth certificate, or pays child support.
  • If he is not married to the mother, but the child is still a minor, and the man both openly claims the child as his own and the child lives in his house.

Voluntary Paternity

Whether or not he is married to the mother, the simplest way that a man can establish paternity is to be present during the birth. All states are required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offer the chance to establish paternity by signing an acknowledgement of paternity. If the man is not able to sign the acknowledgement while still at the hospital, they can still do so at a later date. These legal forms need to be signed for the father’s name to be included on the birth certificate. If he doesn’t complete the forms while at the hospital, his name may need to be added to the birth certificate at a later date.

What If the Father Denies Paternity?

One of the more common reasons a father would not want to voluntarily claim paternity is if he is attempting to get out of paying child support. If the father refuses to claim paternity, the case will most likely need to go to court. To begin the legal process, contact your local Department of Social Services office. They will be able to assist you in serving the presumptive father legal papers naming him as the father. If he continues to dispute the claim, he can request a DNA test. If the tests come back positive and he continues to fight, the case will most likely end up in court.

If the presumptive father refuses to cooperate, it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel. At Family Law Advocacy Group, our Rancho Cucamonga family law attorneys have the skills and experience necessary to provide you with the top-tier legal guidance you need.

Request a consultation with our Rancho Cucamonga paternity lawyers by filling out our online contact form or give us a call at (909) 992-0188.

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