From developing father-child relationships to obtaining child support, establishing paternity can greatly benefit mothers, fathers, and children! Put simply, establishing paternity means legally confirming the biological father of a child. In California, when a married couple has a child, the husband is legally presumed to be the biological father. However, if a couple is unwed when their child is born or a single person has a child, the court must establish paternity for the biological father to have any parental rights. Usually, the couple can sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. Alternatively, if a mother objects to paternity, a father can file a petition to establish paternity with his local child support agency or court.
Why Would a Father Want to Establish Paternity?
There are several benefits of establishing paternity for fathers. For example, establishing paternity enables a father to:
- develop a relationship with his child;
- entitle his child to health insurance, social security, pensions, child support, and veterans’ benefits;
- grant his child the right to inherit the father’s estate upon his passing;
- educate his child about their medical background; and
- provide his child a more developed sense of identity.
If you are a father who would like to establish paternity in California, contact A People’s Choice today for help.
Why Would a Mother Want to Establish Paternity?
Additionally, there are several benefits of establishing paternity for mothers! For example, a mother may want to establish paternity to request an order for child support and/or child custody and visitation. Further, paternity is important in California because a mother cannot obtain an order for child support if a man has not been proven to be a child’s biological father.
Establishing Paternity After a Mother Objects
If a mother is uninterested in signing a voluntary declaration of paternity, the father may still establish paternity on his own. For example, under California law, a father can contact his local child support agency and request they bring an action to establish parentage of his child. Additionally, this action will include a request for a child support order.
On the other hand, a father can also file his own petition to establish paternity with the local court in the county in which the child lives. Specifically, the father must complete the following forms to establish paternity and obtain visitation and custody orders:
- Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (Form FL-200)
- Summons (Form FL-210)
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Form FL – 105)
- Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment (Form FL 311)
After completing these forms, the father must file them with the appropriate court. Additionally, a registered process server or person over age of 18 must serve them on the child’s mother. Then, the server must complete and sign a Proof of Service Summons (Form FL 115). Finally, they must file this form with the court.
Genetic Testing in Paternity Cases
One of the benefits of establishing paternity through the court is that the process requires genetic testing. If the father has requested for his local child support agency to bring an action to establish parentage and child support on his behalf, the agency will pay for the genetic testing. Alternatively, in the event the father files his own petition requesting to establish paternity with the local court, the mother and father will be responsible for paying their share (1/2) of the court costs.
The Benefits of Using a Non-Attorney to Establish Paternity
There are several benefits of using a non-attorney, professional legal document assistant to help you establish paternity. Most importantly, doing so can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in attorney fees!
We have helped thousands of mothers and fathers in California establish paternity without an attorney. Plus, our legal document assistance preparers can draft and file your documents with the local court. Contact us today for more information about how we can help.