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California Paternity Law

Practice Areas – California Paternity Law

When the mother is living with her husband at the time a child is conceived, the child is “conclusively presumed” to be the husband’s child. When unmarried domestic partners split up, or any couple give birth to a baby and need to sort out their rights and obligations, under California paternity law and custody codes they file a Complaint to Establish Parental Relations. This is a legal action in California Superior Court that determines parenthood rights, child support, and establishes the future rights and privileges of parenting, i.e. a parenting plan, custody, visitation, and time-sharing arrangements.

DNA Testing and Parenting Plans
Any man who is said to be the father of a child is entitled by California paternity law to a paternity DNA blood (or saliva) test to prove fatherhood. The alleged father is also entitled to legal counsel in such a proceeding before fatherhood can be adjudged or denied and California guideline child support set. Child custody and child support can be awarded to either the father or the mother, depending on the circumstances, the parenting capabilities of the parties, and the parenting patterns established at the time the matter is brought to court, under California paternity law.

If paternity is challenged by the father, temporary child support may be awarded while it is determined whether the alleged father is the actual father. If the DNA test is negative, the child support already paid may be returned to the paying party under California paternity law.

A Court is authorized to order genetic tests in any action in which paternity is a relevant fact. Whenever paternity is at issue, the court may, on its own motion or on a suggestion made by or on behalf of any person who is involved, order a mother, child and alleged father to submit to genetic tests. Once paternity is established, Court may make orders for child support and child custody/visitation.