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Paternity Actions

When unmarried domestic partners split up, or any couple give birth to a baby and need to sort out their rights and obligations, under California paternity law and custody codes they file a Complaint to Establish Parental Relations. This is a legal action in California Superior Court that determines parenthood rights, child support, and establishes the future rights and privileges of parenting, i.e. a parenting plan, custody, visitation, and time-sharing arrangements.

DNA Testing and Parenting Plans

Any man who is said to be the father of a child is entitled by California paternity law to a paternity DNA blood (or saliva) test to prove fatherhood. The alleged father is also entitled to legal counsel in such a proceeding before fatherhood can be adjudged or denied and California guideline child support set.  Child custody and child support can be awarded to either the father or the mother, depending on the circumstances, the parenting capabilities of the parties, and the parenting patterns established at the time the matter is brought to court, under California paternity law.

If paternity is challenged by the father, temporary child support may be awarded while it is determined whether the alleged father is the actual father. If the DNA test is negative, the child support already paid may be returned to the paying party under California paternity law.

Child Support

Learn more about the general rules involved in determining child support as they apply in paternity and dissolution cases.

Child Custody

Learn more about the general rules regarding the development of parenting plans, custody and visitation agreements, and mediation.

Birth Certificates and Name Changes

In a paternity case, the parties can also request a name change for the child, or an amendment to the birth certificate to reflect the true parentage of the child under California paternity law.

What If The Other Party Is Lying?

A party can lie, and many do, even under oath. Such lies amount to “perjury”, a crime. Will they be punished? Rarely. Do we use their lies against them? Frequently.

How Long Will It Take?

A DNA test can be ordered in a matter of a couple of weeks and the results are available about two weeks later. Custody disputes in California can be resolved in as little as one phone call from a San Diego Paternity Lawyer depending on the willingness of the parties to cooperate and work constructively together.

Why hire a lawyer?

Parenthood is a singular right and obligation. Without a skilled, aggressive, and knowledgeable San Diego Paternity Lawyer, the parent is running the risk of many grave injustices, including over or underpayment of support, inappropriate custody arrangements, unworkable visitation and time-sharing plans, and other serious problems affecting their children’s rights, their finances, and their future.


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