Professional Paternity Lawyers in Culver City, CA

What are a Father’s Rights if he’s not Married?

Even if a man genetically contributes to a child’s birth, paternity can only be established through adoption, marriage, or a court order. A biological father has no legal rights if a child is born out of wedlock or is the result of an extramarital affair. In the latter scenario, the woman’s legal spouse would automatically be granted paternity rights regarding the child. A biological father only has two years from the date of the child’s birth to petition the court for a paternity test.

How is Paternity Established in California?

There are two ways to establish paternity in California: getting a court order or voluntarily signing a Declaration of Paternity. Parents usually sign a Declaration of Paternity in the hospital after a child’s birth. However, if one parent doesn’t want to share parental rights, the other party needs to establish paternity through court action and genetic testing. If the uninterested parent fails to cooperate after the genetic testing is complete, the Department of Child Support Services may work with the court to establish paternity by default. A father can open a case for parentage and support by visiting a local child support agency.

How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity?

California’s paternity law does not have a statute of limitations on establishing paternity. However, if there are any doubts at all about the father’s paternity, the courts may order a blood test up to two years after the child’s birth.

What are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity?

Establishing paternity is very important for the well-being of a child. Besides the great emotional benefit of knowing both of his or her parents, there are many legal rights and privileges a child may receive when both parents are identified.