Los Angeles Paternity Attorney
If the parents of a child are unmarried at the time of the child's birth, parentage, or “paternity,” has to be established by obtaining a court order or signing an official Declaration of Paternity. Without doing so, the father of the child may not have any rights or obligations with respect to his child—such as those based on child custody, support, or visitation.
What happens when paternity is established?
Once you are established as a legal parent of the child, you automatically have all the corresponding legal rights and responsibilities, including the right to request custody and/or visitation and the obligation to pay child support.
The child also receives a number of benefits from establishing parentage. In addition to financial support, they have access to family medical history, health coverage, inheritance rights, and access to additional benefits, if applicable.
When is Parentage Presumed?
The law presumes parentage under the following circumstances:
- The couple is married at the time of the child's birth;
- The couple attempts to marry at the time of the child's birth or conception;
- The couple marries after the child's birth and the presumed father agrees to have his name on the birth certificate or to support the child;
- The presumed father welcomes the child into his home and openly acts as if the child is his (i.e. “parentage by estoppel”).
If you need help establishing or disputing parentage, contact our office by simply filling out our contact form or calling (818) 740-2122.