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San Jose Family Law Attorney explains how paternity is established.

San Jose Family Law Attorney explains how paternity is established.

Establishing paternity involves determining who is the father of a child. The law always recognizes the mother of the child as a parent. But if the mother and father were not married when the child was born, then the law only recognizes the father if paternity is legally established. Paternity gives your child the same benefits and rights as those children born to parents who are married. These include:

  • Legal proof of both the father’s and mother’s identities.
  • Family medical history information, in case of inherited health problems.
  • The father’s name on the birth certificate.
  • Life or medical insurance from either parent (if they have insurance).
  • Financial support from each parent.

Whether or not a child’s parents are legally together at the time of birth, they can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to legally determine the identity of the child’s father. If the parents are in disagreement about the identity of the father, any man who believes he may be a child’s biological father is entitled, under California law, to a DNA paternity test (by blood or saliva) to legally prove his identity.

Establishing paternity will be very important for a child if his or her parents become separated, divorced, or were never married-especially if the child’s father wants to ensure that he has custody and visitation rights. It also allows the child to be legally entitled to receive child support and gives a father the right to make certain legal decisions regarding his child. In California, there is no statute of limitations for establishing paternity.

A child’s parents may also want to establish paternity in the event that there is a disagreement over the father’s identity. A person may deny that he is the child’s father, and filing a paternity lawsuit can resolve this dispute, ensure that the child’s rights are taken care of, and require the child’s father to meet his financial and legal obligations to the child. Should the case go to trial, a California Superior Court will hear the case.

Should you decide to go through the courts to establish paternity, you will have to file a Complaint to Establish Parental Relationship. A Judgment, reached either by agreement between both parties, by default, or after the trial, will be issued by the court.

Here at Sagaria Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including divorce, paternity, adoption, child custody and visitation matters, child support, spousal support, alimony, juvenile dependency, domestic violence, division of property, grandparent visitation and custody, etc. We have seven Northern California locations including San Jose, San Francisco, Redwood City, Fremont, Salinas, Roseville and Sacramento. We offer a free thirty minute consultation, either in person at any of our offices, or over the phone. Call our offices today and we can connect you with an attorney immediately or we can schedule your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys : (408) 279-2288 or (800) 941-6730 or visit

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