Category Archives: Paternity

What You Need to Know About Paternity Law in California

what you need to know about paternity law in california

When DNA testing first became commonplace, it changed the way families functioned forever. However, the existence of DNA tests hasn’t erased the many complicated factors that go into navigating paternity law.

If you haven’t established paternity, or are in a difficult situation involving paternity, you’ll need to know certain things about paternity law. This knowledge will help you navigate challenges from child support to custody and more.

Ready to learn the essentials of paternity law in your state? Keep reading to learn the details that will help you through your situation.

California Paternity Law: The Basics

Paternity law is a broad term governing the legalities between fathers and children.

The simplest paternity cases are when the couple who has a child is already married. Then, under California paternity law, the husband is the assumed father of the child. This law also applies if the marriage happened during the pregnancy.

However, things get more complicated when a couple that’s not married has a child. 

If you father a child with a partner you’re not married to, you’ll have the option of signing a document called the “Acknowledgement of Paternity” to confirm that you’re the father. You can also choose not to sign that document, but in that case, the mother might get the courts involved to hold you responsible for your biological child.

Other times, it may be unclear who is the father of a child. That’s when you might need to establish paternity. 

Why Establish Paternity?

What are the benefits of establishing paternity in California? Let’s take a look.

Medical information

When you know who the real father of a child is, you can access their valuable medical history. This knowledge can help the child know about and prepare for possible genetic problems that might come from their father’s side.

Parenting rights

The biological father often has an easier time accessing the right to parent and raise their child. Both child and father can value this opportunity to be involved in each other’s lives.

Legal and financial reasons

A child who has a known father might also benefit legally and financially from this knowledge. For example, their father might pay child support or serve as a guardian. Some parents don’t want to be legally or financially responsible for a child that’s not theirs biologically.

Establishing Paternity In California

Need to establish paternity in California? 

The only surefire way to establish paternity is to take a genetic test. You have a few different options for paternity testing — here are some of the most common ones.

Pre-Natal Test

If you want to establish paternity before a child is born, you can use a pre-natal test once the mother is at least eight weeks into the pregnancy.

You’ll want to opt for the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity test, which is safer than other prenatal test options. A blood sample from the mother will establish paternity. This works because she is sharing blood with the baby during the pregnancy.

Doctors will isolate the fetus’s DNA to see the paternity of the child. 

Blood Test

You can also test paternity through the blood after a child is born.

Blood tests aren’t perfectly accurate, but they have high enough rates of accuracy to be useful.

With this test, the blood type will show who’s the likely father of the child. Genes play a role in determining the blood type, so blood type can be a fairly clear indicator of fatherhood.

Sometimes, a second test is requested to confirm the results of the first one. When both tests show the same thing, the finding is considered accurate. 

DNA Test

The newer and more accurate DNA testing provides an even better method for genetic testing.

DNA testing involves samples of tissue or blood. DNA is completely unique, so this test can’t be wrong, unlike blood tests which can only determine a likelihood of paternity. 

However, it’s still common to do at least two DNA tests to confirm findings. To take the tissue sample most DNA tests use a cheek swab. As with a blood test, samples will be taken from the mother, father, and child. 

Handling Unusual Paternity Law Situations

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a unique and complicated paternity law situation. Here are some of the more common unusual situations and what to do in each one.

Post-divorce paternity

If the child was born while the couple was married, the husband is the legal father. However, keep in mind that legal father doesn’t mean biological father.

Sometimes, a divorce can cause the legal father to start questioning his paternity. Other times, the divorce might happen as a result of that questioning. 

The divorce won’t affect the legal father’s rights as a parent. However, a genetic test that shows someone else is the biological father can change all of that. 

The legal father, even if he’s not he biological father, can still be granted custody rights and required to pay child support — even if he doesn’t want to. Courts try to act in a child’s best interest, regardless of who turns out to be the biological father. 

Having a baby with another man while married

What if the couple stays married, but the husband isn’t the biological father of the child?

These cases are never simple, and many different factors can affect the outcome. If the husband decides to fight for the right to keep the child, he might be able to maintain paternal rights even though he’s not a biological parent. However, the husband might decide to not fight for custody or other rights to the child that’s not his own.

In these and any other paternity cases, you can help ensure the outcome you want by hiring a paternity lawyer.

Need A Paternity Lawyer?

Navigating paternity law by yourself can become nearly impossible, especially if you find yourself in one of the more complicated situations listed here.

Even DNA testing won’t always clear up all the issues. You need a paternity lawyer on your side.

Our team can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Proving Paternity

proving paternityProving paternity issues today is much easier medically than before the advent of DNA presence into every nook and hidden corner of our lives and loves.  This also is true in the alternative of disproving paternity.

When the possibility of paternity responsibility is first addressed, your first inclination is not to consult with an attorney, but it should be at least your second.  The retaining of counsel in light of such a sensitive and socially impacting possibility is a very calming rationale.

Although DIY paternity testing kits are available for private home testing, this should only be considered with your understanding that it has no authority as proof in any court of law in the USA. That said, it must be acknowledged that there are circumstances when a private individual wishes to have the paternity testing conducted without any court action contemplated. Even in such personal cases, it would be prudent to consult with a paternity lawyer before doing the test, to be advised of any caveat which might bite you because you had the testing performed minus a court order.

Proving Paternity and the Lab Testing Chain of Custody

Results of certified  DNA tests are admissible in any U.S. court of law due to  verified “chain of custody” and because the lab processing the sample is  accredited. The chain of custody refers to the  “hands” which handle the DNA sample. The legal chain of custody dictates that the subject sample is collected in the presence of a 3rd neutral party at a hospital or laboratory where the subject  parties are identified by photo ID.  The court has testing options for every sort of situation. This is for the protection of all parties.

The Test:

Tested parties usually include a child, the alleged father, and the child’s mother. A mother’s testing in paternity DNA testing excludes her half of the child’s DNA, which leaves the alleged father’s half for comparison with the child’s DNA.

It is possible to perform a “motherless” test, which involves additional analysis, usually at no additional cost. Test results are equally binding, whether the mother participates or not. Motherless tests are certified to have at least a 99.5% probability of paternity for inclusions plus a 0% probability for exclusion.

The Results:

Standard DNA paternity testing is the indisputable proof of a biological paternal relationship existing or not existing with a 99.99% probability.

Other Needs for Proving Paternity through DNA Testing

If you need paternity test results for changing the name on a birth certificate or to obtain child support and other benefits a Legal DNA Test needs to be performed, and you should avail yourself of the privilege of legal counsel.

Immigration holds issues wherein legal DNA testing is very important for validation. The cases wherein immigrants need to prove parental and child(ren) relationships can be influenced by certified testing of all parties. Agencies from over 168 countries recognize appropriately certified legal DNA testing.

Many adoptive parents  are seeing  benefits of DNA testing at various times during the adoption process, as knowing the biological identity of a child you are adopting with proper relinquishment will ease some uncertainty or stress that naturally accompanies this legal process.

The relationship of a parent and child is more than altruistic chance and validity of Last Wills and Testaments.  It is the most sensitive relationship known to mankind, and deeper than a marital union.  Therefore it is with extreme clarity and fine judgment that you pursue the demystifying of any paternity issue wherein you are a party. You are owed honest certification, as are all of the heirs and descendants after you.

Why You Would Need a Paternity Attorney?


Establishing paternity isn’t a forthright case of completing the paternity acknowledgement form and ensuring your name is not omitted on the child’s birth certificate. Signing the form may only acknowledge you as the dad and only serve as an authorization for the state to deduct child support from your salary. Unfortunately, it does not mean you are sharing the child’s custody.

This case serves to show how paternity issues can be so complex and emotionally overwhelming that the need for expert help is almost inevitable. In this article, we examine why a paternity lawyer would come in handy if you find yourself in a paternity tussle.

Who is The Child’s Father According to Law?

Paternity laws are quite complex, given that the legally recognized father may not be the child’s biological father. Here’s a look into how law categorizes fathers:

  • Presumed Father – This is a married man who at the time of child’s conception or birth, was married to the child’s mother; or legally accepted to be the father to his wife’s baby; or behaved as if the baby was his own.
  • Acknowledged Father – This is unmarried man who has self-confessed to being the child’s father.
  • Unwed Father – This is an unmarried man who begets a child with a woman.
  • Step Father – This is a man who marries a woman who already had a child with another man

Each of these fathers has their obligation’s according to law, meaning that you need a paternity lawyer to advise you accordingly depending on where you fall in these four categories.

A Paternity Attorney Will Help You Secure Visitation Rights

With the help of a paternity attorney, you’ll not only be able to establish paternity, but you’ll also have visitation rights. Your child will also benefit significantly from the development. He will have entry to your health records and benefits. Most importantly, he will also benefit from the fact that he has eventually known the biological father.

You Also Need a Paternity Attorney If You’re Challenging Paternity

Sometimes, you may go to court to challenge paternity. In such a situation, there are a whole lot of things that will be required from you, which include affidavits, forms, and lawful advice. Therefore, the best thing you’ll have to do is getting a paternity attorney. You can as well find an attorney who would deliver the results as a separation attorney, particularly if the paternity case was influenced by a split up, annulment, or separation.  Nevertheless, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney to help you challenge the paternity in court.

The birth of a child comes with it joy, love, as well as hope for the future. To the unmarried partners, it brings about the added responsibility of determining the paternity of their child. All in all, establishing paternity is among the important steps that parents need to take, especially the unmarried, as it creates a legal relationship between the father and the child.

Paternity attorneys normally have the ability to handle various issues that can have a bearing on the mother, the father, and their child, such as custody, visitation, and child support. Besides, it is important to present evidence in court to help establish or challenge paternity. Therefore, you need to hire an experienced paternity attorney to help represent you in court.