PATERNITY

Paternity Lawyer Serving Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Contra Costa County, California

Paternity is the legal term describing the role of a man in a child’s life (i.e. the role of being a father) and can become a complex legal issue, particularly in the context of pursuing a child support order in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, or Contra Costa County. 

Paternity can be established in various ways. Let’s take a look at each.

DNA Testing to Establish Paternity

With the advent of DNA paternity testing, a court can now establish parentage in a relatively quick and easy procedure. The father can either submit to a paternity test, or a court order can be obtained to compel the ostensible father to take the test. Today’s DNA test results are accurate and nearly indisputable proof of parentage.

Voluntary Declaration of Paternity

If the parents are not married when a child is born, the mother and father have the option to sign a form known as a “Voluntary Declaration of Paternity” which acknowledges that they are in fact the legal parents. 

Presumption of Paternity

Paternity can be presumed by the existence of a Paternity Affidavit, which is typically presented to the father at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth. It is also worth noting that when a child is born to a married couple, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the biological father.

If a man lives with the mother and child as a family, and he has shown a dedication and connection to the child, he may also be presumed to be the father. Basically, this presumption arises when a man embraces the role of a father, even if they are not the biological parent, they may still be recognized as the father in a legal context. 

Rescinding a Paternity Declaration

In California, either parent has the ability to rescind a declaration of paternity within the first 60 days. If there is a question of parentage, it is possible to undergo a DNA test to determine whether a man is, in fact, the father. Though, even if a man undergoes these tests and is determined he is not the biological father, the court may decide it is in the child’s best interest to deny this declaration. In making a decision like this, the judge will take a number of factors into account, including:

  • The age of the child in question;
  • The length of the relationship; and
  • How long it has been since the declaration was signed.

Have Questions about the Rules and Regulations Governing Paternity in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Contra Costa County? Contact The Geller Firm Today

If you have questions related to the laws and guidelines governing paternity in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, or Contra Costa County, California, taking action today by contacting The Geller Firm. Our team of experienced and respected Lafayette paternity attorneys are here to help. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and are proud to provide legal services in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Contra Costa County, along with San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Pleasanton. Our legal team is available for virtual and in-person consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.