Westlake Village Paternity Attorney

Establishing a child’s paternity is vitally important. Paternity is an important aspect of divorce and separation cases, particularly concerning child support and child custody. However, there are times when a child’s paternity is unclear. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we are here to help whether you are a mother or father and need clarification about paternity. Our Westlake Village paternity attorneys will work with you and the court system to get through this.

Understanding the importance of establishing paternity

Paternity is an important concept because it shapes so much of a child’s life. In California, the law automatically assumes that a husband is a child’s father if that child is born to a married couple. However, some additional steps are needed if a couple is not married. In most cases, this is not a contentious issue.

If two parents are unmarried when their child is born but decide to get married, they can sign a “legitimation form” that will ensure that both parents have the rights and obligations they would have otherwise had if married at the time of the birth.

Will a DNA test be required

A DNA test will not likely be required in the instances described above. 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.

You can petition the family court to order a DNA test with help from an attorney.

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 the child’s rights are upheld. If a couple is married, the child will likely have support from both parents. However, if 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.

What if the Husband is Not the Biological Father

It is assumed in the eyes of the law that if a married couple has a child, the husband is the biological father of that child. Often, there will be no questions, and a DNA test will not be conducted. However, if it is found that the husband is not the biological child, things can change rapidly.

These cases can have an outcome where biology does not supersede parental rights. The husband will be the presumed father and can be held responsible for paying child support in a divorce. This means he will also have visitation and custody rights; one exception is if the child is under the age of two and the biological child has petitioned the court for a paternity test.

These situations can get tricky quickly, so you will need a Westlake Village paternity attorney to ensure that you have rights to your child and are protected. The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch aim to ensure that you are treated fairly in a paternity dispute. It would be best if you were not strung along or denied your rights.

Why Do You Need to Establish Paternity in Westlake Village

There have been many cases where a couple does not work out, and they can amicably keep the arrangement going. Then, all of a sudden, things change; typically, a significant other comes into the picture. At first, you try to be supportive and accommodating, but quickly, you realize you are spending less and less time with your child.

This is where you must protect yourself as a father and ensure that paternity is established. This can be done from birth. You will then have the foundation to build a parenting plan the court can implement. Things change, but you should take advantage of time with your child.

Steps to Establishing Paternity

According to the Judicial Branch of California, paternity can be established in several ways. The first is when both unmarried parents sign a declaration of parentage form. This means that they both agree about the parentage of the child. Another option is when a child support agency works to establish parental rights. One final method is to establish parental rights yourself through the court. This requires filling out various forms and may require you to go before a judge. If you do go the court route, you will need legal representation.

Paternity and Child Custody

Paternity is crucial for child custody cases. Every family will have different needs, but paternity must be established and documented to discuss child support and child custody issues. The most complex cases are when the parents are unwed and tensions are high. This can lead to a range of other topics. In the end, a parental agreement will need to be reached for the child’s well-being.

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. You can get through this with help from an experienced Westlake Village paternity attorney. 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 unrelated to a divorce, we can still help you establish paternity. Let us help you through this today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 818-707-0202.

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