Children born outside of marriage, in California and across the US needs Paternity Attorneys in Rancho Cucamonga for the legal issues they are facing. However, this increase has not changed the laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of parents. Mothers and Fathers have equal obligations and interests, which is why establishing paternity can be very important to each parent. However, the process can be quite complicated and disputes over paternity can be extremely heated.
Establishing a child’s paternity in a court of law can seem like a dramatic concept and even one that would not need to happen. In reality, though, verifying a child’s lineage can be a routine element in all sorts of cases involving child custody, child support, visitation, and a variety of other family law issues.
California courts are bound to uphold the standards of the law, which says that each of a child’s parents must equitably contribute to their upbringing in a meaningful, material way. When a child has only one parent contributing to their well-being, they are saddled with an automatic and unfair disadvantage from their earliest days. Paternity testing can help ensure that both parties responsible for a child’s conception are also responsible for that child’s well-being. Alternatively, paternity testing can be used to disavow allegations of paternity when someone makes wrongful and counterfactual claims about a child’s parentage.
At the end of the day, a court-ordered paternity test is done in the best interests of the child. However, this does not mean it can’t also be used as an extremely powerful legal tool for parents and alleged parents who find themselves faced with difficult court proceedings.
Even if the court fails to order paternity testing, private DNA testing that is paid for out of pocket may still be an option. If you work with a known and reputable lab to obtain these results, they may at least sway the court to order their own testing to confirm the results. A skilled family law attorney can be instrumental in your ability to use private testing results as part of a legal argument.
While private testing can indeed be fast and reputable, the best avenue for obtaining legally actionable paternity testing results is through a court-ordered test.
The process of legally establishing, confirming, or contesting a child’s paternity through the use of DNA evidence will typically begin with someone filing a paternity suit at a California court. A paternity suit is exactly what it sounds like. It is a legal motion to establish someone as the legal parent of a minor child.
The process that the testing follows, however, can vary depending on the particular family situation that is being dealt with — and often, these situations can be convoluted and dramatic on many levels. Additionally, if you are fighting to establish paternity or want to get someone to confirm paternity, you will want to have strong legal representation. While you are legally able to represent yourself in paternity hearings, the nuances and complexities of California family law generally call for the help of a skilled paternity lawyer.
At All American Law, our Paternity Lawyers have considerable experience in these kinds of issues and the different routes of establishing them. We represent parents throughout California, so we have in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws.
All American Law’s expert team of legal professionals has years of experience working with California judges, state agencies, and DNA testing labs. We will ensure that all DNA testing is done on an expedited timeline, performed by reputable labs and that the results are legally actionable.
Court ordered paternity testing most often begins with one party filing a paternity suit in a California court. This means they are making a motion to have the court establish the lineage of a minor child. Often the quickest and surest way to achieve this is through paternity testing. A judge or child welfare agency may also have the authority to order paternity testing themselves in cases where it is essential to correctly establish a child’s legal parentage for complicated child support or custody situations.
Generally speaking, there is no “statute of limitations” for establishing paternity. Any person established as the legal parent of a minor child must continue helping to support that child until the age of majority is met, whether paternity is established correctly at birth or not until the child is 17 years old. Legally speaking, it is never too late to correct the record in so far as naming someone’s correct biological and legal father. Practically speaking, the implications of correcting a child’s paternity will go down fairly drastically once that child is no longer a minor.
The filing fee for a paternity case in California is currently set at a flat rate of $435. This is paid directly to the court at the time of filing your paternity suit. Anyone unable to cover this filing fee may be able to fill out paperwork for a Fee Waiver, which can be granted by the court if certain criteria (i.e., demonstrable financial hardship) are met. This $435 is not a payment for legal services or a retainer for representation, so you may incur additional fees on that end if you’ve made the wise decision to have a qualified lawyer prepare your case before filing.
The paternity of most minor children is simply a name on their birth certificate that never comes into question. In many other instances, however, this paternity must be confirmed or re-established through a judge’s court order. The evidence involved in getting to this court order may involve personal testimony and DNA testing, currently the gold standard for paternity testing.
Please contact our office, with the form on this page, to schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our attorneys to help resolve your needs. All American Law is staffed by a world-class team of family law and divorce experts who operate with equal parts compassion and professionalism. We pride ourselves on our track record of success in California courtrooms, but we also strive to make every client feel comfortable and confident. Our team is ready to do the groundwork necessary to fully understand your situation and prepare the best possible legal strategy for protecting your rights and your family. All American Law is your top-rated Rancho Cucamonga family attorney for child custody hearings and your other family legal representation needs.
Nothing contained on this page or on our website is legal advice nor should it be construed as such. It is not intended to apply to your specific situation or answer your specific questions.