If you are an unwed father of a child there are some legal facts you may wish to be aware of. Even if you filled out all of the forms at the hospital your rights to see your child and share custody and parenting time must be ordered by a court in a process called “paternity.” Establishing paternity legally ensures you have access to your child in the months and years to come.
While proving paternity is a simple medical test, but a complex legal process. The experienced child custody and parenting time attorneys at Burke & Domercq can help.
In California, all rights regarding child custody remain with the mother if the parents of the child are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth. The father of the child must assert his legal rights with the court to establish formal “orders.” Without these orders the mother of the child is free to take the child and move out of the area or out-of-state and there will be little the father can do about it.
The test to establish paternity is a simple DNA swab of the inside of Dad and baby’s cheeks. Once DNA is established our attorneys will petition the Court for orders legally establishing your paternity of the child and requesting the custody and parenting time you desire.
Establishing paternity legally ensures you have access to your child and does not have to be an adversarial process. Most most fathers feel relieved to know they will always be able to share in the life of their child. You may have a great relationship with the mother of your child and extended family, but just as in a married couple things can change. Don’t leave your ability to parent your child and enjoy ongoing access and parenting time at risk.
Child custody deals with the legal authority to make decisions about the child regarding healthcare, education and religious practices. There are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody relates to your ability to physically see your child and have them live with you, while legal custody relates to decision making regarding the child’s well being. Parenting time is an established schedule of regular visitation with your child(ren).
If you are unmarried father we invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.