According to California state law, if a couple has children outside of marriage and the father wishes to establish paternity right over their child he must open a case of paternity.
A paternity lawsuit can be filed when the mother and father can’t come to an agreement regarding the legal paternity of a child, want to reinforce financial or moral obligations and/or settle other issues between the parents.
In a paternity case, a father may request rights as custody, visitation, child support as well as a DNA test.
A mother can also file a paternity suit if the alleged father denies the parentage with the child. When this happens, the court may compel the individual to submit a DNA test. The results of the test will stablish the groundwork for child support and visitation rights, depending on the circumstances.
Can another man besides the biological father be recognized as the father?
Yes, another man, other than the biological father may be legally recognized as the father of a child. However, determining the legal paternity can be complicated and it may involve heated arguments from both sides of the suit.
The court protects the wellbeing and emotional stability of the child, once the paternity its stablished is difficult to change it. There are several legal classifications of fathers, unless there’s a private agreement between the parents, fathers are obligated to pay for child support.
Acknowledge father: Is the biological father of the child born to unmarried parents who admits that he is the father.
Presumed father: There are four circumstances in which a man is presumed to be the father.
a) He was married to the mother when the child was either born or conceived.
b) He attempted to marry the mother when the child was either born or conceived.
c) He married the mother after the birth of the child and agreed to have his name put on the birth certificate or agreed to support the child.
d) He welcomed the child into his home after birth and openly holds the child out as his own.
Unwed father: A man who impregnates a woman but does not marry her. If an unwed father wishes to keep paternity rights he should seek an agreement with the mother to confirm his status. If the mother marries and the other man becomes the presumed father and eventually claims the legal paternity it may become difficult for the unwed father to keep his paternity rights.
How can I get child support from the legal father of my child?
Once the legal paternity is stablished, the court enforces both the paternity financial obligations like child support and also the rights of visitation and custody, if the father asks for it.
If the father refuses to pay child support or doesn’t pay enough, the court can place a lien on his property, garnish wages and even imprison him.
Courts take paternity rights very seriously, changing paternal rights can have an impact on the father’s ability to make decisions for their child, and it can also affect the emotional stability of a child.
If you wish to learn more about paternity suits or wish to schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys, call (619) 908 1495 to schedule or send a SMS to (619) 648 9652.