When a couple that is not married has a child together, paternity must be legally established (babies of married couples have the benefit of presumed paternity). Whether the couple is married or not, the mother and legal father are both responsible to provide care for the child.
If a man and woman are unmarried and they both agree that he is the father, in some states all that is needed to establish paternity is to name him on the child’s birth certificate. In California he must first sign a Voluntary Declaration Of Paternity before he is allowed to sign the birth certificate.
While a Voluntary Declaration Of Paternity holds the same weight as a court order, but when paternity is unclear a court ordered test might be the only way to answer paternity questions once and for all.
To start the paternity process, one person must file a petition in court. Once the petitioned person (the Responder) is served, he or she will have 30 days to respond.
If the Responder (putative father) does not reply in 30 days, his paternity will automatically be established.
If the Responder denies paternity, DNA testing will be ordered. If the test comes back positive, the putative father will become the legal father. Along with that legal standing comes custody, child support, and visitation orders.
Whether you’re married or unmarried, a man and woman, Ann A. Thomson is poised to leverage her paternity law experience for the benefit of you and your family. When paternity questions are causing adversarial contention, Ann is well prepared to help frame in custodial rights to walk you through child support.
Please call Ann’s Orange County office at 562-431-4333 or send her e-mail today to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation in a free consultation. If you decide to hire Ann in your paternity matter, she accepts major credit cards for payment.