Establishing Paternity: Who is your Daddy?

Posted by 9 Mar, 2011

Most people heard about Anna Nicole Smith’s ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, filing suit for Paternity in Los Angeles Superior Court at the end of 2006, demanding that Smith return to the U.S. with newborn daughter, Dannielynn Hope and submit the baby to a paternity test.

“Establishing parentage” in California means saying who the legal parents of a child are if the parents were not married when the child was born. If the parents were married when the child was born, the law usually considers the husband to be the father.

If you are not married when the child is born, you can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity before leaving the hospital (or after). When people who are not married can not agree about parentage, the court can order genetic testing.

California paternity law authorizes blood tests in cases where parentage is disputed. The mother, child, and alleged father will be required to submit to these blood tests. If a party refuses to submit to blood tests, then the court has the power to resolve the parentage issue against that party.

Generally, a child’s parentage m

ust be established before child support or custody/visitation orders are put into place. You can ask the judge for child support or custody and visitation as part of a case that establishes the parentage of a child. If paternity is challenged by the father, temporary child support may be awarded while pending whether the alleged father is the actual father. If the DNA test is negative, the child support paid may be returned to the paying party under California Paternity Law.

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