When children are born, the majority of them have their parents clearly identified. However, that is not always the case, and when a situation arises where the parentage of a child is disputed, the mother is often left to care for and support the child on her own. There are also unfortunate situations where the alleged father legitimately believes that he did not produce the child in question and needs help to verify this belief. If either of these situations sounds familiar, then you need to take action to properly protect and enforce your legal rights and perhaps those of your child. Our San Diego paternity attorneys can help.
In order to make sure that you’re taking all of the steps necessary to prove, in a legal sense, the identity of the parents of any given child, you need to secure the help of a San Diego paternity lawyer to make sure that all of the steps required by law are followed. If a paternity issue is handled correctly, you will likely begin to see the benefits of support that you and your child deserve or you’ll be able to avoid the obligations that come with being named the father of a child. Below are a few relevant considerations.
If a child is born to parents who are married at the time, family law presumes that the child is the product of the married parties. This is also generally true for those adults who produce a child while involved in a registered domestic partnership in which the child was born after January 1, 2005.
Assuming that no voluntary declaration of parentage was signed at the hospital at which the child was born, there are steps that need to be taken in order to either prove or disprove the identity of the parents. Basically, the parent who wants the clarification needs to go to court and secure an order for a paternity test so that the situation can be clarified.
Securing such an order is not as simple as it seems. The party making the motion needs to convince the court that such a test is not only necessary but justifiable, and that needs to be done with the offering of evidence. Merely stating a belief may not be enough to order such a test. An experienced paternity lawyer will understand exactly what needs to be done and what sort of evidence needs to be provided so that the court will issue the order for the paternity test.
If the court orders the test and it’s completed, the results will define the subsequent steps. For instance, if the mother of the child moved for the test and proves the identity of the father, then the father could be liable for child support until the child reaches the age of majority. If the test proves that the male involved in the situation is not the father of the child, he would likely be released from any future obligations. However, simply identifying the father does not automatically lead to the payment of child support on a monthly basis. The mother still needs to follow the proper procedures with the court to secure the order for child support, and the amount involved is based on the father’s income.
Rather than attempt to handle this situation yourself, you need to make sure that your legal rights are properly protected and enforced. Contact the San Diego paternity attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott & Matteson Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation.