Paternity is typically established when both unmarried parties are unable to agree about parentage as a prerequisite to child custody and support proceedings. The father’s declaration of parentage is sufficient for child support and custody orders and the parties can move forward with establishing those orders.
There are cases where there is a dispute with regard to paternity. At that point, a Court hearing can be requested and parentage determinations can be established.
Paternity is important to protect the child’s right to an established child custody agreement and thereafter child support in order to ensure the financial best interests of the child and encourage paternal involvement. Establishing paternity can help ensure benefits to which a child is entitled, via tax, inheritance & social security records and insurance coverage.
Both unmarried parents may wish to establish paternity for specific reasons. A father may want to establish his parental status in order to ensure his ability to be involved in his child’s life and upbringing. A mother would typically file the petition to establish paternity to establish an agreed custody agreement to which both parents must adhere to and then for child support.
De Facto Parentage
California law allows for common law de facto parentage where someone has no biological or existing legal relationship to a child but has played a consistent parental role in the child’s life.
In some cases, same-sex couples have found this a beneficial approach to ensuring both parties’ ability to continue to play a parental role and to safeguard the interests of a child for whom they have acted as a parent.
Hassett Family Law represents clients in paternity proceedings to protect a child’s best interests. Call to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation at 1-858-353-8853