Certified Family Law specialist
San Fernando Valley Paternity Lawyer
Fighting For Fathers' Rights Throughout Los Angeles, Northridge, & Century City, CA
Questions of paternity may arise when a child is born to unmarried parents, and to protect the child's best interests, it may become necessary to seek legal help in establishing paternity. Because the establishment of paternity under California law directly affects many other obligations with respect to the child, it is important that a paternity case is handled by a lawyer with experience in this growing area of litigation.
The San Fernando Valley family law attorneys of Joel S. Seidel & Associates handle all aspects of paternity cases, and we encourage you to contact our offices in Century City or Northridge if you have any questions about child custody issues and the legal rights and obligations of fathers.
Are you dealing with a paternity issue? Call Joel S. Seidel & Associates today at (818) 435-3773 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our paternity attorney in San Fernando Valley.
How to Establish Paternity in California
- Voluntary Declaration of Paternity - Establishing paternity in California generally requires both parties to submit a voluntary declaration of paternity with the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). This document can also be completed at any time after the birth of the child and is often recommended for unmarried couples or those unsure who the biological father is.
- Genetic Testing - In cases where one parent disputes paternity, genetic testing may be needed to provide legally binding evidence.
- Filing a Petition to Establish Paternity - Additionally, paternity may be established by filing a petition with the court. The court will then determine whether or not a legal relationship exists between the father and child.
Either the mother or the father of a child may file a petition to establish a parental relationship. Once paternity is established, the California court can make decisions on the issues of child custody and visitation, as well as child support.
Though paternity may sometimes be established voluntarily, these matters can become quite complicated if a man denies paternity or if there is a dispute between the child's biological father and another individual—usually the mother's current husband—who has taken the child into his home and raised that child as his own.
What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity in CA?
Establishing paternity in California offers many benefits for both parents and children. Here are just a few of the advantages of establishing paternity:
- Grants fathers legal recognition as the child’s father, including the right to seek custody and visitation rights.
- Allows for access to vital medical history provided by the father, such as family medical records, which are critical in providing care when needed.
- In some cases, can help establish a secure financial future for the minor child through potential inheritance rights or monetary support from the father.
- Gives mothers more security in court proceedings that could involve custody issues or other matters related to parental rights.
- Confirms parentage on birth certificates and other vital documents needed for school activities or travel purposes.
- Establishes automatic visitation schedules, ensuring both parents are able to stay involved with the lives of their children even if they do not live together.
- Can bring closure to families after years of uncertainty surrounding the identity of a father or mother of a minor child.
How Long Does the Father Have to Establish Paternity in California?
In the state of California, there is no exact time frame on when a father may be able to establish paternity. If there is possible doubt about a child’s parentage, the court may instruct a blood test in order to establish paternity for up to two years after the child's birth. Additionally, fathers may petition to establish paternity for up to three years after the 18th birthday of the child.
If you find yourself in a situation where paternity needs to be established or addressed, don't hesitate to reach out to Joel S. Seidel & Associates. We are here to provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the complexities of paternity law in California, ensuring that your rights and the best interests of the child are protected.
Contact Our San Fernando Valley Paternity Attorney Today
At Joel S. Seidel & Associates, we are able to help both mothers and fathers resolve paternity issues, including the related matters of child custody and support. When you have our San Fernando Valley paternity lawyers as your representation, you can trust that we are committed to helping you pursue the outcome that you want and deserve.
Contact Joel S. Seidel & Associates today to get started with our San Fernando Valley paternity lawyer.
“He is proficient in knowing the law and legal system. He invests extra time to research cases and provides a calm and confident presence.” - Former Client
“Mr. Seidel represented me on a case that involved child custody issues, child support issues, spousal support issues, attorney fees, and the division of assets. He was prepared at all times, professional, and I could not be happier with his work and the ou” - Samuel (reviewed on Yelp)
“Joel and his team are incredible. They coached me through and incredibly difficult custody battle that ultimately ended in my child and my favor.” - Viola C. (reviewed on Google)