Mission Viejo Paternity Attorney

In the last 50 years, the question of paternity has become more an issue of discussion. As the issue of women's rights is one of the hottest topics today, many wonder what part the father has in a child's life. In California, unless a couple is married at the time of their child's birth, the father does not automatically have any legal rights over his son or daughter. If the couple is unwed when they have a child, parentage of the father must be intentionally established.

Establishing & De-Establishing Paternity in Mission Viejo

Establishing legal paternity of a child has many implications for both the mother and the father. Unless an individual is a legal parent of a child, he or she cannot be legally compelled to provide any child support, petition for child custody or request visitation rights. In order for these things to be attainable, the father must first legally be established as a parent.

In California, the process of establishing parentage for an unwed father involves filing a Declaration of Paternity with the district court. The petition will state who the legal parents are to be, regardless of biological relations. Even if a father can prove through a paternity test that the child is his, he has not official legal claim to the child unless paternity is established.

Paternity Frequently Asked Questions

When trying to determine the father of your child or looking to find if you are the father, you may have thousands of questions you need answered. While we recommend speaking with a qualified Mission Viejo family lawyer before you take any legal steps, we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions below to give you a better idea of your options.

Can you receive child support if you are unsure of your child's father?
Before any type of child support can be awarded, you MUST establish paternity. By having this legal documentation, then your child can be privy to financial support, potential government benefits especially if the father is in the military, medical records, and other benefits.

Is it possible to establish paternity while you are still pregnant?
You can begin the process by filling out all the necessary paperwork; however, your local child support agency cannot actually follow through with the case until your child has been born. The child also must be born in order to perform any genetics tests, in the event that the man you think is the biological father refuses to accept paternity. Check with your local genetics lab to see how old the child must be before you can get this done. Some labs make you wait until the child is at least 6 months old. In order to find out more information about genetic testing, visit your local child support agency.

What if the supposed father leaves the state before establishing paternity?
When possible, local courts may be able to determine paternity without the presence of the potential father. If for some reason the father is uncooperative and willing to establish paternity, he may still be forced to pay child support even if he does not currently reside in the state of California.

If the potential father lives out of state, can you still obtain paternity?
The answer to this is yes, your local child support agency can request a genetic test from the other state's local court. If the man does not resist paternity, he can also willingly sign a Declaration of Paternity to establish that he is in fact the father.

Should you establish paternity if the potential father has no job or source of income?
Just because he does not currently have a place of work or steady income does not mean that he may eventually have it. If you do not secure paternity, your child will definitely not receive the child support or even health insurance that they need. The sooner you procure paternity documentation, the smoother the process will be later down the road in pursuing support payments.

If you are seeking to determine the father of your child to pursue not only child support, but also innumerable other benefits, attain an attorney that will truly care about your case. Even if you are on the opposite side of a paternity case and are being falsely summoned as the father of a woman's child, The Hunter Law Group can help you challenge these allegations. For those that desire to be a part of their child's life, but are being denied paternity by the mother, we are also willing and ready to assist in any way we can. Get in touch with our office immediately and get the legal help that you deserve.

Searching for a Mission Viejo family lawyer for your paternity case?

When considering whether to establish paternity, it is important for both parents to contemplate the effects that this decision may have. Once paternity has been legally established, it is almost impossible to undo. Furthermore, for fathers seeking to gain legal parentage rights, it is important to realize that such a decision would mean a significant increase in responsibility. Handling your case with diligence from start to finish, you can rely on our legal team to always bring you up to speed in regards to any case details, changes or pertinent information. To learn more about the process of establishing paternity or if you would like to retain quality legal service to guide you through the procedures, contact a Mission Viejo family lawyer.