Davis Paternity Lawyers Representing Northern California
- Pakpour Banks is based in Davis, CA, and is proudly serving Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, and surrounding areas.
- Our team has been successfully representing cases in Yolo County, Sacramento County, Solano County, Placer County, Colusa County, El Dorado County, and Yuba County.
Pakpour Banks LLP provides legal services to individuals involved in Parentage or Paternity Actions. Renowned Davis paternity lawyers Pakpour Banks LLP have decades of experience with California family law. We are here to guide you through the process of establishing parentage in California. Contact our Davis paternity attorneys today.
Under California law, each child and parent has an equal right to a parent-child relationship, regardless of the parent’s marital status. Thus, there are several ways for a parent to establish legal parentage in California.
Presumed Parentage: The Child’s Parents Are Married
When you have a child with someone during your marriage, the law presumes that the child is yours. The presumption applies in the case of a spouse’s death or divorce if the child is born within 300 days of the event. Further, the presumption extends to a person who “receives the child into their home and openly holds out the child as their natural child.” Thus, there is no need for a married couple to establish parentage, unless someone challenges it. However, when you were not married to the other parent when the child was born, you must first establish you are the child’s parent before the court will issue custody or support orders in your interest.
Paternity Disputes: Benefits of Establishing Parentage
Parentage, or what used to be called “paternity,” is typically not an end in itself. Instead, it is typically a means to another end. Those ends might be obtaining legal and/or physical custody of your child, parenting time (visitation), or child support. You also may dispute parentage to reverse a child support order.
After judgment: Once the judgment has been entered, it is the order of the court. If you are not satisfied with that order, you can seek to modify it.
The Voluntary Paternity Declaration
If unmarried parents agree on the child’s parentage, they may sign a Voluntary Paternity Declaration. Typically, the parents sign the declaration at the hospital immediately after the birth. Signing a declaration has the same effect as a judge’s order establishing parentage.
Both parents’ names will appear on the birth certificate if signed at birth. Parents also have an opportunity to sign a declaration after birth at a child support agency, the California Registrar of Birth’s Office, a California family law facilitators’ office, or a California welfare office.
Disputed Parentage: Genetic Testing
If the parents disagree on the child’s parentage, the law allows interested parties to file a petition for the court to establish paternity. In this case, the court may order genetic tests from the mother, child, and the person alleging to be a parent. If the test results show a high probability of genetic parentage, the court will issue an order establishing parentage.
When you receive a summons, you must respond within 30 days. If you do not respond, you may receive a default judgment naming you as the child’s parent. Finally, to challenge legally presumed parentage, you must file within two years of the child’s birth.
California’s Three Parent Law
Under California law, biological parentage is not the same as legal parentage. In 2013, California law expanded parental rights to allow a child to have more than one legal parent. Often, a child can have a parent-child relationship with a person who acts as a parent. It would be detrimental to remove that adult from the child’s life in many cases.
Under the new law, a court can order parental rights for a step-parent or other person acting as a parent. California calls this rule the “Three Parent Law” because it allows a married same-sex couple to share legal parental rights with a third genetic parent.
Disputing Paternity: Times to Call Your Davis Paternity Attorneys
It is rare to have a paternity order reversed, but it is possible with clear and convincing evidence. If you are dealing with these complex issues, reach out to the experienced parental rights lawyers at Pakpour Banks LLP. We can help you understand your rights in these situations:
- The putative father and the mother disagree on who is the legal father;
- Two or more men claim to be the child’s legal father;
- The parents disagree about parenting time, parental obligations, and other parental rights; and
- When the establishment or denial of paternity substantially impacts your parental rights and financial future.
In any situation, your Davis Paternity Lawyers will fight for your rights. Whether you’re a presumed father wishing to divorce and separate from a child, or a purported father wishing to escape child support, we can help. When you contact the parental rights attorneys at Pakpour Banks LLP, you’ll receive personal, professional service backed with decades of family law experience.