Establishing paternity is necessary in the case of unmarried couples who have children in order to protect certain legal rights for the mother, father, and child. Every child is entitled to the financial support of his or her biological father whether the father is married to the child's mother or not. In cases where the parents are not married, a father can establish his paternity at the time the child is born by signing a voluntary form called the Declaration of Paternity. This can be signed at the hospital or birthing center when the child is born or at a later time. Once the form is signed, the father's name is added to the child's birth certificate.
The signing of the Declaration of Paternity must then be submitted to the appropriate agency which will fully protect the father's rights in regards to his child. The father will be responsible for financial support for the child should he and the child's mother separate. Other advantages will follow for the child, such as access to family medical records and access to any government or health care benefits received by the father as well as the emotional benefit of having a father's acknowledgement, affection, and care.
If a father is not present at the time of an unmarried mother's delivery of a child, she may have to take legal action to establish his paternity in order to receive child support. This can be done by filing a paternity suit or it may done by the state on behalf of the child. A DNA test will determine the issue with certainty.
Family Lawyer in Orange County, California
Establishing paternity is just one example of a family law legal issue which will require the advice and guidance of an attorney. Other common family law issues include divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, the division of marital property, adoption, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence, restraining orders, and more. Many family law matters can be resolved through mediation or through collaborative divorce, which are more private, less expensive, and more user-friendly methods of achieving legal agreements.
You can work with a Certified Family Law Specialist to resolve your family law issue at Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC, serving clients throughout Orange County. Mr. Gibbs is one of only ten percent of family law attorneys in the state that has achieved this certification, the highest professional status attainable by the California Bar. He has devoted his law practice entirely to family law and has two decades of experience in this field. His firm provides mediation and collaborative divorce options as well as traditional divorce litigation. To learn more about how he can help you resolve your family law matter, contact the firm to get started with a free, initial case consultation.