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Los Angeles, CA Paternity Lawyer

A paternity case is used to determine the biological father of a minor when the parties were not married at the time of the child’s birth. A child’s parentage usually must be established before child support, child custody and parenting time orders can be obtained.  Contact an experienced Los Angeles paternity attorney with any legal questions or concerns.

Establishing parentage means obtaining a court order or signing an official Declaration of Paternity that says who the legal parents of a child are. For example, if the parents of a child were not married when the mother became pregnant or when the child was born, the child does not have a legal father until parentage is established. So even if a father can prove he is the biological father of a child, if he was never married to the mother, he does not legally have any rights or responsibilities for the child. This means parentage must be established legally.

When a child is born out of wedlock or without the benefit of their parents being married, there are always issues regarding child custody, child visitation time, and child support. Determining whether someone has legal rights as a father to a minor child, as well as the protection of the rights of the mother and child, are often delicate situations.

At Boyd Law, we provide individualized representation to clients for a wide range of paternity matters. Our attorneys will take the time to learn about your situation and provide honest advice regarding your options. We will guide you through the entire process, from DNA testing to establishing support, child visitation, custody and other parental rights. We represent clients seeking to establish or challenge paternity in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California.

Many people often assume incorrectly that the courts will always judge in favor of the mother when dealing with custody, visitation and other matters involving children. However, the courts focus is on the best interests of the child. Every case is determined based on its individual facts and circumstances. No matter how complex of a paternity case you are facing, our experienced paternity attorneys have the knowledge and skill required to assist you.

The parentage statutes provide methods of establishing parentage for parents who were not married at the time of their child’s birth. The courts in California may also apply the common law of de facto parentage, which provides a means for someone who has fulfilled a parental role to a child (without a biological or adoptive relationship to the child) to establish a parental relationship. The de facto parentage laws may benefit same-sex couples because both members of a same-sex couple cannot be the biological parent of any children born to either of them, and the second person filling the parental role may not always establish a recognized legal relationship with the child through adoption.

Establishing Parentage in California

Establishing parentage for a child is important. One reason is the child gets the emotional benefit of knowing who both of his or her parents are. And, another reason is it entitles the child to the same rights and privileges as those of a child whose parents are married. In the State of California these legal rights and privileges are:

  • Financial support from both parents;
  • Legal documentation identifying both parents;
  • Having the names of both parents on the child’s birth certificate;
  • Access to family medical records and history;
  • Health and life insurance coverage from either parent;
  • The right to inherit from either parent; and
  • The right to receive social security and veteran’s benefits, if available.

If you are a man seeking visitation or custody rights to your child, or if you are a woman trying to secure child support payments, it may be essential to work through the legal paternity test process with the guidance of an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney. Custody and parenting time can be complicated matters and having an experienced counsel will help you achieve optimum results. Contact Boyd Law today at 310-777-0231.