Determining the Paternity for California Children
A court presumes that a child born during a couple’s marriage is their biological child. Unwed parents can establish the paternity of their child either by signing an Affidavit of Parentage or by filing for paternity action in court.
Located in Huntington Beach, California, we at the Law Offices of William M. Strachan represent people seeking to establish or disestablish the paternity of a child. In paternity cases it is important to find a lawyer who is familiar with paternity laws and parental rights. Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn more about paternity.
The establishment of paternity can have an enormous impact on a person’s rights. Paternity is generally established using DNA testing, but courts can also establish paternity through blood testing. In some instances, when a person holds themselves out as a father of a child for a number of years, paternity can be established on that basis alone. Once the court establishes paternity, it can amend a child’s birth certificate, their name, and the rights a person has over a child. The issue of whether or not the child uses his father’s last name or the mother’s last name should be determined while the child is very young.
Despite the court’s presumption, a child born during a marriage may not be the biological child of the married couple. Disestablishment of paternity is the process where a person challenges the paternity of a child. A person must file an action for non-paternity within the first two years of a child’s birth. If a person fails to petition the court for non-paternity within that period, he could be conclusively deemed to be the child’s father, regardless of his biological status.