Paternity Actions

Paternity • DNA Testing • Child Custody • Child Support

Paternity is the process of declaring the legal father of a child. While paternity is seldom in doubt for married parents, when children are born out of wedlock, the link to a father may be lost, and the child will lack rights and privileges of one born to married parents. Either parent can petition the court to establish parentage.

To help unmarried parents establish paternity, California’s Paternity Opportunity Program (POP) offers unmarried parents a voluntary in-hospital paternity acknowledgment program called a Declaration of Paternity. The Declaration affords the children a variety of rights including:

  • Financial support from both parents
  • Access to important family medical records
  • Access to the non-custodial parent’s medical benefits
  • The emotional benefit of knowing who both parents are
  • Opening the door to extended family relationships

An unwed biological mother may petition the court legally establish the paternity of her child. An unwed biological father can petition the court to establish his legal rights to custody to his child. Either parent may offer the Declaration of Paternity, if one exists, as proof of paternity. The court will make support orders where necessary in such actions. DNA testing can also be used to determine paternity where it is in doubt.

When you have questions or need legal help to pursue paternity actions, whether establishing paternity, obtaining child support or gaining custody, the Law Offices of James T. Raetz has the knowledge and skills to get results. Please call our office at (310) 292-3087 or (949) 623-8410 to arrange an appointment to discuss your problem and find a solution.