Paternity cases can be brought forward by both unmarried mothers and fathers. Establishing paternity is the first step needed for an unmarried mother to seek a child support order through the courts. It is also needed for an unmarried biological father to be able to seek custody and/or visitation rights to his child. Paternity may also arise as an issue between married couples where disputes occur over the legitimacy of the presumed father.
At Bobby Cloud Law, we are here to represent both mothers and fathers in paternity suits. We know that these issues, like other family law matters, can be emotional and challenging. With over a decade of experience assisting parents in these cases, we know how to provide the guidance you need at this critical time.
Reach out to Bobby Cloud Law online or at (661) 464-1347 to schedule a free initial consultation with our Bakersfield paternity attorney about your case.
Contact Us Today
Divorce and family law matters can be difficult, emotional, and confusing. Having the guidance of a seasoned family lawyer can be invaluable when you are going through such a life-changing experience. Bobby Cloud puts experience, compassion, realistic counsel, and strong advocacy on your side.
Establishing Paternity in California
When a child is born to married parents, it is automatically assumed that the father is the biological parent of the child and thus his name is put on the child’s birth certificate. If a child is born to unmarried parents, the father must establish his paternity to protect his parental rights. The easiest way to do this is to have both parents sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, usually at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth. Once this is done, the father’s name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.
If the above is not done, either party may initiate a paternity suit that will establish paternity by DNA testing. This then allows the mother to establish child support or the father to establish custody/visitation to be able to play a major role in the child’s life. A man who fails to respond to a petition initiated by a mother to establish parentage may be declared through default by the court to be the father. He will then be obligated to pay child support once an order is established, even if he has left the state.
Establishing paternity has many benefits for the child, including not only financial support but inheritance rights, rights to government benefits, family medical history, and, where a father pursues custody rights, the advantage of having his or her father’s guidance, care, and influence throughout life.
If you need legal assistance with establishing paternity or with the following legal actions of seeking child support or child custody and visitation, we urge you to contact Bobby Cloud Law for competent and compassionate assistance.