Like most states, establishing paternity in California can become a tricky process. If the mother has already identified someone else as the father and does not wish to relinquish his parental rights, things could be even more difficult. In Roseville and Rocklin, CA, family courts always prioritize children’s best interests. So, they will also consider the potential disruption to children’s lives.
When A Couple Is Not Married
Establishing paternity becomes especially difficult in Roseville and Rocklin when parents are not married. Fathers who separated from the mother during pregnancy or after birth might experience the greatest difficulty with establishing their rights.
These cases are the most likely to experience opposition from the mother or another father figure. Consequently, they might require paternity testing and lengthy court battles to establish parentage.
When unmarried couples live together and raise their children in a family unit, it becomes much easier to prove paternity. In fact, men are often the assumed parent in these family situations, even if they later change their minds.
When Parents Agree on Parentage
Most people believe that marriage is the ideal situation for establishing parentage. Sometimes, it is, but even married couples in Roseville and Rocklin might disagree on parentage. Consequently, an agreement is an ideal situation. In these cases, fathers can simply sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This is a much stronger commitment than assumed parentage because a man cannot later change his mind.
Fathers can sign this document as early as the time of birth. Hospitals generally might not add the father’s name to the birth certificate unless he signs this document. Once he signs the document, the family can receive a new birth certificate if one was already issued.
The Process for Determining Parentage in California
If you do not know whether you are the child’s biological parent or the other parent disagrees, you might need to contact an attorney. Sometimes, attorneys can resolve these issues through private negotiations and paternity testing. In other instances, you might need to go to court in Roseville or Rocklin.
These are the basic steps you and your attorney might follow:
- File a petition with the court.
- Serve the respondent with a copy of the petition.
- Establish legal grounds for fatherhood at trial.
Establishing Paternity Through the Court
California provides the right to file a paternity petition to several different parties. Consequently, you must ensure you meet one of these characteristics:
- The mother of the child or the unborn child
- The alleged father of the child or the unborn child
- A child who is 12 years or older
- A child support agency that suspects a case of child neglect
- An adoption agency
In most cases, Roseville and Rocklin courts require paternity testing. Luckily, the same companies that provide COVID-19 testing tend to provide these as well, so they are relatively easy to access. If the case rules that a person is the child’s father, this person gains all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of fatherhood. This might include visitation rights, physical or legal custody, child support, and health insurance. The court order might also determine who pays for court fees, attorney’s fees, and paternity testing.
Paternity Testing in Roseville and Rocklin
Genetic testing is often the best solution if you need to establish paternity rights in Roseville or Rocklin. However, if you do not have access to the child or permission from the mother, you might need to turn to the court system to obtain that right. Contact ARCpoint Labs of Roseville-Rocklin for more information.
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