Are You the Father? A Shortlist of FAQs on Establishing Paternity in California

Having a child is one of the most joyous things you will ever experience in your life. If you are in a situation where the paternity of the father is in question or being denied, however, it can become quite a challenge. Establishing paternity in California is usually a fairly easy process. Read through some of the most common questions about establishing paternity, and get the answers you need.

Q) Do I Have to Establish Paternity Before Seeking Child Support?

A) Yes. Before you can seek child support, it is necessary to establish paternity in the state of California. This can be done through a DNA test, having the presumed father sign the proper documents, or any number of other options.

Q) What if the Father Lives in Another State?

A) While this can cause some additional delays, it is possible to establish paternity even if the father is in another state. California courts will work with the local child support agency in the state where the father lives. They can administer the necessary tests and provide the results to the California courts. Once paternity is established, child support can be processed through the local offices where the father is living.

Q) Is it Possible to Establish Paternity Before Giving Birth?

A) No. While you can certainly start the paperwork and other steps that will be necessary for establishing paternity, the actual tests that need to be done won’t be completed until your child is born. When the child is born, the father can sign the necessary papers to confirm paternity, or you can immediately ask the courts to demand a genetic test be scheduled for the father right away.

Q) What Rights Will the Father Have After Paternity is Established?

A) Once paternity is established, the father will have all the legal rights that are normally afforded a parent. This will include the right to see the child and spend time with them, the ability to access medical records and decide on their upbringing, and much more. In most cases, after paternity is established, both parents will need to either agree on a parenting agreement, or work through the courts to have one created.  

Q) Do I Have to Try to Establish Paternity if I Know Who the Father Is?

A) No. If you know (or suspect) who the father is you should notify them, but you are not obligated to initiate the process of establishing paternity. If the father seeks paternity, however, you will have to comply with the court orders to get this done.

Q) Do I Need an Attorney to Establish Paternity?

A) While technically you can go through this process without an attorney, it is important to remember that this is an extremely important legal matter. Having an attorney there to provide guidance and advice can help ensure everything goes smoothly. Visit our website or contact Grey Legal Group to discuss your options and learn how we can help.

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The Grey Legal Group, APC

At The Grey Legal Group, we take pride in getting to know our clients personally. Whether you’re going through a divorce, child custody issues, or problems enforcing divorce orders, you can feel confident in our knowledgeable, hands-on approach.

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