Certified Family Law specialist


San Fernando Valley Paternity Lawyer

Advocating for Fathers' Rights Throughout Los Angeles, Northridge, & Century City

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.

Experienced Paternity Attorneys Fighting to Reach Your Goals

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.

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Legally Establishing Paternity in California

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 child. 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 life 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 to Establish Paternity in California

  1. 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. 
  2. Genetic Testing - In cases where one parent disputes paternity, genetic testing may be needed to provide legally binding evidence. 
  3. 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.

Consult with a Competent San Fernando Valley Paternity Attorney

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.

To discuss your child custody concerns with an experienced paternity attorney in the San Fernando Valley, contact us online or call (818) 435-3773. We are here to help.

  • “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)
Meet Your Attorneys More than 60 years of combined legal experience