In California paternity cases are called actions to “Establish Parentage”. “Establishing Parentage” means saying who the legal parents of a child are if the parents were not married when the child was born.
Usually a child’s parentage must be established before you can get child support or custody and visitation orders. You can ask the judge for child support or custody and visitation as part of a case that establishes the parentage of a child. Sometimes when establishing parentage, a court may order supervised visitations.
Establishing Parentage is important in establishing the rights of both parents and the child. A child has the right to financial support from both of his or her parents. Parents typically have the right to visitation or custody with their children.
In some cases, a man may have parental obligations and rights even if he is not the biological father of a child.
This might happen if the man had previously voluntarily acknowledged paternity, or partnered with the child’s other parent before the child’s birth. He may bring an action to establish whether or not he is the father of the child. If the man has held himself out as the child’s father, behaved like a father and developed a parental relationship with the child, the court may decide that it is in the best interests of this child to maintain that relationship, and thus declare the man the legal father, even if he is not the biological father of the child.
Lewitt Hackman handles paternity actions that seek to establish or deny paternity.
Our Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys are available for all of our clients’ questions and concerns regarding paternity and establishing parentage. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced Los Angeles paternity lawyers, please contact us at (818) 990-2120 or e-mail us now.