Paternity Attorney in San Diego
Bringing Clarity to Complex Family Situations
A determination of paternity can change the lives of a child and their family. At Family Law San Diego, our lawyers represent both mothers and fathers in paternity proceedings in San Diego county.
We understand that every family and every situation is unique. Sometimes a mother makes a motion for paternity and the father agrees. In these family law cases, there is usually no testing involved, and the court rules the father as the child's biological parent. Other times, the mother moves for paternity and the father disagrees. The judge may order a DNA test to make the ultimate determination.
A determination of paternity may give the legal father new rights and responsibilities under the law. It may give him the right to visitation with the children. It may also lead to his responsibility to pay child support. In short, establishing paternity can change your life quickly and permanently.
Paternity & Marriage
If a child is born during a marriage and the husband is concerned that he may not be the biological father, he has two years from the birth of the child to raise issues of paternity in California courts. At that point, the court makes a non-rebuttable presumption that the husband is the father of the child.
Why Establishing Paternity Is Important
If you are an unmarried father in the state of California and hope to remain involved in the life of your child in the event of a split between you and your significant other, you will only be able to do so if you have established paternity.
For divorcing fathers, there is a legal assumption of paternity. However, if your child was not born before or after your marriage or you have never been married to or involved in a registered domestic partnership with your child’s mother, the courts do not automatically assume you are the child’s father. If you and your unwed partner separate, you will not be eligible to petition for child custody, visitation, or any other parental rights until you have proven that you are, in fact, the child’s father.
How To Establish Paternity in california
You may establish paternity by being present when your child is born and participating in the California Department of Child Support Services’ Paternity Opportunity Program (POP). You can also do so by being present for the completion of the child’s birth certificate and other birth papers. If this is not possible, you can establish paternity in California by co-signing a voluntary Declaration of Paternity or later petition the courts to have your name added to your child’s birth certificate. You can also take a paternity test to prove a genetic link between you and your child. If you are involved in an active split from your significant other, you may have to petition the courts to allow you to take a paternity test proving your parentage.
It is also important to note that paternal family members, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., will not be able to appeal for legal involvement in the lives of your children, including custody or guardianship of any kind, unless you have taken measures to prove your paternity.
Paternity is a complex legal area, so it is important to work with an experienced attorney. At Family Law San Diego, our founding and principal attorney Garrison Klueck has been practicing law for more than 30 years.
Additionally, the firm has several highly experienced attorneys working at his firm who have extensive, in-depth knowledge of the San Diego area legal system. These divorce attorneys can guide people through each step of the way, including helping a father establish paternity in order to facilitate a child custody arrangement.
As skilled litigators, mediators, and negotiators, our firm is prepared to handle any type of family law case.
Working together, we pull from our unique backgrounds and resources to achieve the best results possible.
We create tailor-made solutions to fit the unique needs of every client and help them move forward favorably.
We are committed to serving a diverse clientele, all the while protecting the interests and fulfilling the needs of clients.
I would absolutely recommend this firm!- Gerilyn H.
It was a joy to work with him and the entire firm!- Nina F.
We were successful, despite the opposing party's contention. Thank you again to Garrison Kleuck and his entire team.- Jennifer B.
I appreciate all the hard work everyone demonstrated during my legal issue, first and foremost Garrison!- Jean M.
It feels good to have you on our side.- Kevin