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Presumed Parentage vs. Disputed Parentage

Presumed Parentage vs. Disputed Parentage in Los Angeles, CA

At Whitmarsh Family Law, our paternity lawyers in Los Angeles, CA understand that establishing parentage may be tough under some circumstances, and our goal is to help our clients streamline the process so there is no room for complication during the investigation.

Establishing parentage, also known as paternity, is essential in reaching the next vital steps in the child’s care: Obtaining child support, child custody and visitation agreements.

Our Los Angeles paternity attorneys can help get you there faster, especially if the potential father is not cooperating with requests to submit to a DNA test.

Who Is Considered a Presumed Parent?

In the State of California, the presumed other parent of a child is determined when a man:

  • Is married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or childbirth
  • Attempted marriage that was never legally validated and the child was conceived or born during that time
  • Married the mother after the birth of the child, and agreed to his name being printed on the birth certificate, or agreed to support the child
  • Welcomed the child into his home, openly acting as if the child was his own

Unmarried parents must establish parentage of their child legally. This provides the opportunity for both parents to establish the best life for the minor by creating a legally binding connection, which can be used in court proceedings to determine benefits for the child going forward.

Establishing Parentage with a Declaration of Paternity

A Declaration of Paternity is a form that allows both unmarried parents to establish they are the legal parents of the child, simply by voluntarily signing the form. Both parties must agree to sign the document for legal purposes going forward, as reversing a Declaration of Paternity is incredibly difficult.

It can be signed at the hospital, after the birth of the child – in which case both parents’ names will appear on the birth certificate.

If the form is not signed at the hospital, or before a notary public, it must be signed in person by both parties at one of the following public agencies:

  • Your family lawyer’s office, or local superior court
  • Registrar of births
  • Local child support agency
  • Local welfare office

What Is Disputed Parentage?

Disputed parentage is the act of a man who is being told by the mother of the child that he is the father, and his disputing that as an assumption, instead of fact.

Men have the right to request a genetic test, also known as a DNA test, to assert his claim of not being the father. Our paternity attorneys have represented women throughout Los Angeles County who have struggled with uncooperative males who are unwilling to succumb to a volunteer DNA test.

When this happens, the law will allow our office to pursue this individual through a court order, where he is required by law to submit to genetic testing to either confirm he is the father or rule him out completely.

Why Establish Parentage at All?

When two people are not married, and the mother becomes pregnant, and there is no presumed parentage in effect, the child does not have a legal father until actual paternity is established.

Parentage must be established before the courts can rule on the child’s well-being where it concerns orders for:

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Visitation and parenting time
  • Health insurance and expenses
  • Child-care costs

What If the Other Parent Is No Longer in California?

If a man has been served with a petition to establish paternity but leaves the state instead of submitting his DNA for testing, the California courts can enter a default judgment based on the information they have to decide parentage without him. A court order for child support can be issued thereafter.

If the father’s paternity has been proven, all states must observe the paternity declarations established in other states and respond according to their laws. This means that anyone, male or female, who left the state to avoid paying child support is still – and always will be – accountable for the monthly costs outlined by the court in the state where the ruling took place.

Child support does not disappear, nor is it excused at any time. Individuals who are mandated by the courts to pay child support may be forced to pay through financial judgments waged against them or can lose privileges and licenses valuable to their livelihood until they pay what they owe.

Talk to a Parentage Attorney in Los Angeles, CA Today for Help

Establishing paternity is an important part of your child’s well-being, and at Whitmarsh Family Law our paternity attorneys in Los Angeles, CA can help you take the proper legal steps in securing the representation you need by calling (310) 220-0892 today. Parentage, child support, and child custody are complex areas that require an accomplished attorney to provide the positive results you need to move forward with your and the child’s life. Let us help you established the best legal route to success today.

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Whitmarsh Family Law, PC

1900 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1800 B
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310-552-3505
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