For several years, The Law Offices of Joseph Torri has assisted clients who reside in Whittier with every aspect of family law. One important component of family law is paternity. The designation of a child's paternity can have consequences that last a lifetime.
General Information about Paternity in Whittier
Paternity refers to the biological father of a child. In some cases there is a presumption of a child's paternity that will stand as a legal relationship unless it is rebutted, such as when a child is born or conceived to parents who were married at the time of the birth or conception. Although domestic partners are considered to be the legal parents of a child, laws regarding domestic partnerships are relatively new and ever changing. An unwed mother is automatically considered to have full custody and all parental responsibilities of a child. A father cannot receive court ordered visitation or custody without proving that he is the child's parent unless there is an established presumption of the child's paternity. Paternity can either be established by signing a Declaration of Paternity or through a court order. Either parent can request a paternity test or the judge can order a test to be administered. Although genetic clinics are available to complete this type of testing, courts will not accept documentation regarding paternity results that were determined by private clinics. Contact Whittier Trial Lawyers to find out more information regarding paternity issues.
Steps in Establishing Paternity in Whittier
Paternity can be established in a variety of ways. The parent can sign the official governmental form entitled “Declaration of Paternity.” The custodial parent can request that paternity be established through a court proceeding, such as an independent proceeding or a proceeding for child support. The local child support agency may also request a paternity test to be completed on a child's potential father. If a parent is attempting to exercise visitation or seek custody of a child, he or she can also request a hearing to establish paternity. Once the results come back, the custodial or noncustodial parent can proceed with other court matters that pertain to the child.
Once Paternity Is Established in Whittier
After paternity has been established the custodial parent can take further action against the custodial parent, such as requesting child support. A noncustodial parent may also be required to pay half of the child's healthcare expenses that are not paid for by the child's insurance and child care expenses. A noncustodial parent can also pursue various exercises of his parental rights, including:
- A request for visitation
- A request for custody
- A request to add his name to the child's birth certificate
- Access to the child's medical records and medical history
A child will also receive additional benefits by having paternity established. These benefits include the ability to be covered under the noncustodial parent's health insurance, rights of inheritance and the ability to receive veteran's benefits and social security benefits. Whether you are a father who wants to establish your child's paternity or you are a custodial parent who is seeking child support, an experienced attorney will assist you through every step of the process of establishing paternity.
Contact The Law Offices of Joseph Torri at (866) 630-5757 to schedule a free case evaluation.