Sacramento Paternity Lawyers
Paternity questions can complicate court orders and affect a child’s emotional wellbeing. When two married individuals conceive or bear a child, the state considers them the parents. In today’s world, parentage is often not as straightforward. Two parents may remain unmarried. Some singles decide to start a family on their own. Many same sex marriage couples also start families, and since 2005, California laws have recognized automatic parentage in registered domestic partners. A Boyd Law paternity attorney in Sacramento, CA can help answer any of the legal questions you may have regarding paternity laws in California, and how they apply to your specific case.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, which can be complex when legal issues arise. To award child custody, enforce child support orders, or grant visitation rights, the court needs proof of paternity or parentage.
In addition to the considerations outlined above, the state can also automatically assume paternity if a male attempted to marry a child’s mother, parents married after the birth of a child and the male agreed to a support role, or if a male assumes a parental role and treats the child as his own (regardless of biological proof).
If there is any question about paternity, a parent can either sign a state recognized Declaration of Paternity or a parent can obtain a court order. Fathers who have any question about paternity can always dispute the assertion and submit to DNA testing. In some cases, the court may order DNA testing to determine paternity. The state will only accept DNA testing results conducted through the Department of Child Support Services.
Reasons to Establish Paternity
In some cases, parents may never need to formally establish paternity. During a divorce, legal separation, or annulment, however, one parent may need formal recognition to protect a child’s rights. Without proven paternity, kids may lose the right to:
- Financial support from both parents
- Social security and veteran’s benefits
- A birth certificate including the names of both parents
- Obtain health insurance or records from both sides of the family
- Recognize and spend time with both legal parents
In addition to protecting a child’s rights, establishing paternity is a way for a parent to play a role in his child’s life even if the state does not officially recognize the relationship. In some cases, for example, a mother may try to prevent a biological father from asserting his role as parent. A father will thus need to establish paternity to legally support his child.
Paternity/Parentage and Same Sex Couples
Parentage is a more complex issue in the LGBTQ community. If a couple adopts, parentage is legally recognized. If, however, one individual is the biological mother or father of a child, the parental status of the second individual in a divorce or break up can come into question.
Unless a married couple has a parenting agreement in place or both names listed on the birth certificate, the courts may reserve the right to pass judgment on the legal recognition of parentage. There are steps you can take to protect your rights as a non-biological parent in same sex relationship, however. For more information about your specific situation, reach out to the team of Sacramento, CA paternity lawyers at Boyd Law.
Finding a Paternity Attorney in Sacramento
Parentage/paternity cases range from straightforward to highly complex. The nature of the birth, the parents’ marital status, and their willingness to play a role in their children’s lives affect custody and support issues. On top of the legal complications paternity issues present, going through such a dispute can be emotionally difficult for a child.
At Boyd Law in Sacramento, we understand the delicate nature of these matters. Our family law attorneys in Sacramento, CA are here to provide experienced and compassionate legal support for you and your child. Contact us today for a free paternity case evaluation.