Paternity Actions to Establish a Child’s Legal Father in the OC
Every child deserves to have the benefits of two legally established parents. Establishing paternity, or determining the legal father of a child, allows a child to legally receive financial support from both parents, in many cases it initiates legally required time spent with each parent, and it allows a child to be covered by a parent’s insurance plan, to claim life insurance benefits, to claim an inheritance, or to claim social security benefits.
However, when two parents are not married at the time of a child’s birth, there is no legal father. Whether a father is not aware of the child’s existence, does not want to be a part of the child’s life, or is simply not married to the child’s mother at the time of birth, paternity actions may need to be taken to establish paternity. A mother, a father, or a government agency may file a paternity action in the OC. The Department of Child Support Services may file on behalf of a child in some cases. However, the process of filing a paternity action should not be attempted without the advice of an Orange County paternity action lawyer.
Signing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity in Southern California
The most efficient way to establish paternity, and the simplest paternity action that can be taken in California, is for the father to sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. Usually, this is done in the hospital where the child is born, and the father can sign the birth certificate as well.
As long as the form is signed voluntarily and then filed with the appropriate government agency, paternity can be established just as if the couple had gone to court to establish paternity. The father will have legal rights and responsibilities, including the right to child custody and/or visitation, and either the right to collect child support on behalf of the child, or the responsibility to pay it to the child’s other parent.
Paternity Actions in Court: Filing a Paternity Suit in Orange County CA
Both mothers and fathers have the right to file a initiate paternity actions in a California Court. A mother may wish to establish paternity of an unwilling father in order to collect child support on behalf of her child. A father may with to initiate a paternity lawsuit to establish his paternal right to custody or visitation with his child, or to be able to provide health insurance for his child. Either parent may wish to establish paternity to ensure that her children can legally inherit from their father. There are many reasons to take action and establish paternity at any stage of life, but it is up to the parents to do so.
Filing a paternity suit in court is complex. It requires you to fill out the appropriate paperwork, it may include mandatory genetic testing, and each party should retain their own Orange County paternity action lawyer, especially if there is a dispute regarding paternity.
Orange County Paternity Action Lawyers
If you’re ready to establish paternity on behalf of your child, it’s time to contact an attorney. At Yanez& Associates, we’ll have your child’s best interests in mind throughout your case. We have the family law experience you’ll need to legally establish paternity, and to help you through any legal actions regarding custody, visitation or child support that may follow. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.