Paternity Actions

Riverside Paternity Actions Attorney

California law determines the father of the child to be the husband in a married couple situation. If the parents are registered domestic partners when the child is born, they are both considered to be the parents of the child, according to California law. The domestic partnership parentage law was put into effect in January of 2005, so is relatively new. Because of this, parents of the same sex should seek the advice of an attorney before assuming parentage rights.

Paternity actions are necessary when the parents of a child are not married at the time of the child’s birth. California Parentage law is used to “establish parentage” in these types of cases.

Parents who are not married at the time that the child is born have the option of signing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity before or after they leave the hospital. If either party is unsure or both parties are unable to agree on parentage, genetic testing can be ordered by the court to determine actual parentage.

California paternity law authorizes blood tests for the reason of determining parentage, requiring the mother, child and alleged father to submit samples. If any party refused to submit a blood test, the court then has the power to resolve the parentage issue against the refusing party.

In most cases parentage must be determined prior to seeking child support, custody or visitation.

There are three ways in which parentage can be established:

1. Voluntary Declaration of Paternity

This form can be signed at the hospital or later on. Once signed, both signees are determined to be the legal parents of the child. If the form is signed at the hospital, the father’s name will go on the birth certificate. If the form is signed at a later time, a request for a new birth certificate to be issued can be submitted. The new birth certificate will then contain the names of both the mother and father.

After a voluntary Declaration of Paternity form is filed with the court, orders for child support, visitation and custody can be determined.

2. Child Support Agency Action

Your local child support agency (part of California’s Department of Child Support Services) can bring an action to establish parentage. Included in this action will be a demand for a child support order. To initiate this process, simply call your local child support agency to open a case for parentage and support.

3. Go To Court Yourself

If you wish to handle your own case to establish parentage of your child, you can choose to hire an attorney to represent you.

Paternity actions can be difficult and frustrating. With all of the pressures and stress of taking care of a newborn, the last thing you need is more responsibility, especially when it comes to your child’s father. Call California paternity lawyer Eliana Phelps for your free consultation to see how she can help you.

Call the Law Offices of Eliana Phelps today to discuss your case!

Eliana Phelps