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Establishing Paternity Rights In California

  • How to establish paternity in the state of California
  • How to file for child support after establishing paternity
  • How to determine a father’s custodial rights

Can A Paternity Test Be Demanded Or Refused In California?

In California, a father listed on the birth certificate has two years to demand a paternity test. The uncertainty of the father could have to do with who the mother is and what was happening at the time of conception. There aren’t many refusals of paternity tests.

If the father signed the voluntary declaration of paternity and now wants to claim that he is not the father, the two-year rule goes into effect. In situations where he is not on the birth certificate and has not signed the voluntary declaration of paternity, he can demand a paternity test to ascertain whether or not the child is his biological child.

Can The Mother Put Down A Father’s Name? Does That Have Any Impact On Who Is Considered The Father?

There was a time when mothers were able to tell the hospital who the father was and the hospital would then pass that information on to the County Recorder’s Office which would complete the birth certificates. That time has come and gone, however, and that is no longer the process (nor has it been for 20-30 years).

Prior to a year ago, even if a dad signed the voluntary declaration of paternity at the hospital, they would have still been required to go through the parentage action to have the courts determine his custodial, visitation, and support rights.

There was a change to that law about a year ago. Now the courts don’t need to make that determination if the father signed the voluntary declaration of parentage at the time of birth.

Once Paternity Is Established, Is The Biological Father Required To Pay Child Support Or Back Child Support In California?

In the state of California, there is a difference between paternity which is established through a voluntary declaration of parentage at birth and paternity which is established through the court process. Child support and child support arrearages come from a court process and not a determination of a father.

In a situation where the dad has signed the voluntary declaration of parentage, there has been no court process to determine child support. That means that there can be no back child support. When a court process has been involved in determining paternity, that process also determines the father’s rights as to child support.

If both parents are on the birth certificate and the mother never files anything against the father for child support, there can be no back child support. This is because there is no court order for child support in place.

If the mother decides to file against the father in January and the matter isn’t determined until June of that same year, the mother might then have a claim for back child support from the period of January to June. From that point forward, the child support would be due on a monthly basis, in addition to the back child support or arrearages that occurred from January to June.

People can obtain child support through one of two ways:

  1. The County
  2. Family Law Court

Does Establishing Paternity In California Mean I Have Custodial Rights Of My Child As Well?

There are several factors that go into determining the custodial rights of a parent. Once a parent is established through a paternity or parentage action, the court would determine those custodial rights that each parent may have.

There are two types of custody:

  • Legal custody – Decision-making aspects of child care
  • Physical custody – Actual visitation schedule

While establishing paternity does mean a father has custodial rights for that child, the court would have to determine what those rights entail specific to their situation.

For more information about Paternity Tests In The State Of California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (909) 860-0342 today.

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