Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer and Paternity Action Attorney Discusses the Basics of a Parentage Cause of Action
Under the law, designation as a “parent” comes with several rights, responsibilities and obligations. A cause of action to establish oneself as a child’s parent is known as a parentage action, and more specifically as a paternity action as pertaining to the child’s father. In California, a concept known as “putative parent” places automatic parentage on a husband if a child is born during a marriage. If a child is born outside of wedlock or the child’s father is not the mother’s husband, the biological father will need to file for an establishment of paternity.
There are two ways for a parent to establish parentage: (i) voluntarily sign a Declaration of Paternity, or; (ii) obtain a court order declaring paternity. The former is obviously an easier way to go about the process, however it is not uncommon for possible parents to oppose paternity or otherwise compete with the filing parent. If filing for paternity becomes necessary, the court will order a DNA test to determine whether the respondent is, in fact, the child’s parent. The court will require testing to take place at Department of Child Support Services and, in most cases, the court will not accept testing done by a private agency or home test kit. If the DNA test reveals a genetic match between the child and the respondent, the court will enter an order of paternity thereby conferring rights and obligations on the parent.
Reasons to Establish Paternity
As your Los Angeles divorce lawyer and paternity action attorney will explain, there are a number of reasons to establish paternity. For one, parents are obligated to financially support their children and the court cannot enter a child support order against anyone other than the child’s parents. Parents are also afforded rights including access to medical records, placement of the parents’ names on the birth certificate and the ability to provide health insurance coverage for the child.
Contact a Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer and Paternity Action Attorney Right Away
If you are in need of assistance with your paternity case, contact a competent and experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer and paternity action attorney at the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton by calling (310) 300-4021.