What is a “paternity” case and when should you consider a paternity action in San Diego? Paternity is the legal process to establish that a man is the father of a specific child.
In California, when a married couple have a child the husband is automatically considered to be the father of the child. This legal standing also extends to all legal custodial rights.
When a child is born to an unmarried couple, the father has no legal custody rights regarding the child, even if he is listed on the birth certificate. He may have filled out paperwork at the hospital and even agreed to pay child support through DCSS (Department of Child Support Services).
It is important to understand, this alone does not provide the father with the legal right to make decisions regarding the welfare of the child or even to see the child. This is known as custody and visitation or parenting time. If the parents are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth the legal rights of physical and legal custody remain solely with the mother.
If the father wishes to protect his rights to see his child, prevent the mother from taking the child and moving out of the area or out of state and make decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare or religious practice he should consider a paternity action in San Diego and seek orders from the Court.
Without the orders of a court, an unmarried father has no legal right to see or spend time with his child. Informal agreements between the parties in these cases are not recognized under California law. The only option an unmarried father has to ensure the child is not moved away or relocated, to have regular time to visit with their child and participate in important decisions regarding the child is to protect their child custody and parenting time rights by seeking orders from the Court.
If you are an unmarried father in North County or Carlsbad and you want to consider a paternity action in San Diego under California law we invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and the legal industry and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment.