Paternity Actions

As anyone who lives there knows, California is a very progressive state. Family law is no exception, as lawmakers continually try to keep up with the needs of nontraditional families. In California, the word, “paternity” is used interchangeably with “parentage” or “parental relationship.” Establishing paternity means that either the parents of a child or the courts have determined who a child’s father is.

There are some instances where the law assumes the identity such as:

  • When the child is born during a marriage, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the child’s father
  • When a man has been living with the child and mother in a family-like manner, and the man has demonstrated a commitment to the child, the man is presumed to be the child’s father, even if he is not the actual biological father

Absent these two circumstances, paternity will need to be established. Establishing the fact of paternity can be a major factor in a child’s life, both psychologically and economically.

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