Category: Paternity

Paternity Actions You Should Know About If You Live In California

California is a very progressive state in virtually every way possible, including family law. With the times we live in, lawmakers try to keep up with the needs of unconventional families and everything that comes with such family structures.

In this article, we’re focusing on paternity law in California. For any additional pending questions, and clarifications, contact Platinum Paralegals for more information.

Overview of Paternity in California

In California, the word “paternity” interchanges with “parental relationship” and “parentage.” In California law, the identity of the father is assumed in situations such as:

  • When the child has two legal parents, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the child’s father if the child is born during a marriage
  • When a man lives in a family-like manner with a child and his mother, and demonstrates a commitment to the child, even if he is not the actual biological father

Apart from these two circumstances, paternity will need to be established.

How Paternity is Established

There are two ways to establish paternity:

  1. Voluntarily
  2. Through paternity action in court

When paternity is established voluntarily, the child’s parents agree to sign a “Voluntary Declaration of Paternity.” Upon giving birth to a child in a hospital or other medical setting, the parents of the baby (the mother and the baby’s alleged father) are given a “VDP” form to sign. By signing the voluntary declaration of paternity, the mother and father become the child’s legal parents. The father immediately gets parental rights and responsibilities to the child.

If paternity is established under California law and through a paternity action in court, any of the following persons or agencies have the right to ask the court for an order on paternity:

  • The child’s mother
  • The “alleged father” or “putative father,” i.e., the man who believes he’s the father of the child or who is identified as one
  • An adoption agency or the local child support agency that is providing services to the mother

The court always works to find the legal option that is in the child’s best interest.

Starting the Case

The agency has the authority to require genetic tests of all parties involved (the mother, child, and alleged father) if a mom uses the state child support services. Genetic testing is also required when the mother also requests child support from the alleged father, welfare, or other public benefits. If the suspected father decides not to cooperate, the court is in the right to consider the father’s refusal to cooperate as evidence of paternity.

Also, the court can order:

  • Child support
  • Health insurance for the child
  • Visitation, the non-custodial times when a parent will see the child
  • Physical and legal custody of the child, i.e., the child’s place of residence and whether one or both parents will be able to make decisions for the child
  • Payment of the genetic testing
  • Payment of either party’s reasonable attorney’s fees
  • Payment of court costs, i.e., the fees the court charges to start the case

California Law if very clear when it comes to family law. Still, if you want to be sure of your rights, consult with the right firm to help out. Platinum Paralegals offers consultation, guidance and help with actions like these. Talk to us for the best advice.

How Do You Establish Paternity in California?

There is a common misconception of people thinking that courts often award custody to mothers. However, since the 1970s, gender roles have been shifting and fathers have expressed their desire to play a significant role in their children’s lives. Establishing paternity then becomes a vital process but can often be a complicated issue.

What Does Establish Paternity Mean in California?

The word “paternity”, in California, can be used interchangeably with “parental relationship” or “parentage.” Establish paternity means that the courts or the parents of the child have determined who the child’s father is. The law can assume the identity of the father in some instances. The mother’s husband may be presumed as the child’s father if the child is born during the marriage. Also, if a man has demonstrated commitment to the child, and has been living with the child and mother in a family-like manner, the man can be presumed to be the child’s father even though he may not be the actual biological father. Outside of these circumstances, paternity will need to be established in California.

Establish paternity means that the courts or the parents of the child have determined who the child’s father is.

How Do You Establish Paternity in California?

When a couple is not married, the establishment of paternity is not automatic. There are two main ways an unwed couple can establish paternity. The simplest way to establish paternity is signing a “Voluntary Declaration of Paternity.” When the mother and the father sign this form, they legally establish that they are the parents of the child and that the father is the child’s legal father. The father’s name can be added the child’s birth certificate and now has parental responsibilities and rights to the child.

The other way to establish paternity is to get a court order either on your own or with the help of a Local Child Support Agency. Under California law, to ask the court for an order on paternity, you must be the child’s mother or the man who has been identified as the father or believes he is the father. An adoption agency or a local child support agency that is providing services to the mother may also ask for a court order on paternity. If the case is brought to court, genetic testing will be required from the mother and alleged father to establish paternity. If the alleged father refuses the test, the judge may consider the father’s refusal as evidence of paternity.

Can You Establish Paternity While Pregnant?

You can establish paternity even if you are not married and are pregnant. You can secure your parental rights with a paternity action if you were, or are, in a relationship with the person who is pregnant with your child. The mother may also file a paternity action to establish the father. The alleged father has the right to ask for a paternity test through the court but only has two years from the child’s birth to petition the court for a paternity test. The simplest way to establish paternity is to sign the Declaration of Paternity that says who the legal parents are.

The alleged father has the right to ask for a paternity test through the court but only has two years from the child’s birth to petition the court for a paternity test.

Is There Benefits to Establishing Paternity?

There are numerous benefits, especially towards the child, to establish paternity. Once paternity is established, examples of some of the benefits they can receive are health insurance from either parent, access to family records, financial support, and inherent assets or property from one or both parents. Establishing paternity can make it easier for the child when various legal situations come up during their lifetime.

Establishing paternity can also benefit the parent. When paternity is established, both parents have parental rights and have the right to be involved in decisions on their child’s behalf. They both have the right to request custody or visitation of that child. Establishing paternity may not be important to some people today, but there may come a situation where the parent would have wished they would have established paternity.

For low cost, affordable paralegal assistance, call Platinum Paralegals™ at: (818) 839-6879 or send an email to: info@platinumparalegals.com.

Parental Leave

Paternity, Maternity, and Parental Leave Differences and Similarities in California

When you think of family law, you may think primarily of divorce and legal separation. However, part of family law includes the issue of maternity vs paternity leave and other concerns regarding parental leave California 2017. Below, we’ll examine current policy definitions of maternity and paternity leave California.

What Is the Policy of a Paternity Leave?

While not all states offer paternity leave, California offers a maximum of six weeks of paid family leave for new fathers. New fathers do not need to take all six weeks of leave at once–they are legally allowed to break it up and take portions of their leave gradually.

  1. In order to be eligible for paternity leave California, a new father must meet the following requirements:
  2. Have become a father biologically, through adoption, or through foster care in the past 12 months
  3. Have paid into the state’s disability insurance program within the past five to 18 months
  4. Not have used the maximum six weeks of paid leave in the past 12 months

Depending on where you live in California, your employer may also legally be obligated to offer supplemental benefits to you while you take parental leave California 2017. If you are unsure whether this is an option for you, it’s a good idea to check with your employer.

What Is the Policy of a Maternity Leave?

You are entitled to paid time off when you take paternity or maternity leave in the state of California, but as far as the issue of maternity vs paternity leave, new mothers may be eligible for additional benefits. Even before filing for paid family leave, pregnant women may be eligible for up to four weeks of disability insurance prior to the pregnancy due date.

After the child is born (or if you become a mother through adoption, a partner’s pregnancy, or foster care), you may be eligible for the maximum of six weeks of paid family leave. The eligibility requirements for maternity leave California 2018 are the same as those listed above for paternity leave.

The eligibility requirements for maternity leave California 2018 are the same as those listed above for paternity leave.

How Is a Parental Leave Different or the Same as a Paternity or Maternity Leave?

You may think at first that parental leaver, paternity leave, and maternity leave California 2018 are all essentially the same. However, legally, “parental leave” may be offered in addition to maternity or paternity leave. In January 2018, a new law took effect in which employees of eligible employers were offered the benefit of 12 weeks of job-protected leave. This new law was designed to improve the health of both new parents and their children.

Is There a Price Difference Between Any One of the Three Types of Leaves?

businessman with piggy bank and coins at office

Because the three types of leave are funded by disability insurance programs (in which workers have a small amount of each paycheck deducted), there is not necessarily a price difference between the three. But the new parental leave act, which allows extended time off for those employed by larger corporations, comes at an additional cost to taxpayers.

If you are a new parent or planning on becoming one, understanding your rights when it comes to paid family leave can be confusing. If you find yourself in need of legal counsel or assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Platinum Paralegals. Our knowledgeable team can offer you quality legal advice at a fraction of the cost of a traditional attorney’s fee. If you are looking for general information or if you have a specific concern about family leave, get in touch with Platinum Paralegals today!