A paternity action is when a party seeks to establish the identity of the biological father to a child. A paternity action may be brought by the child's mother in order to obtain child support to help her meet the costs associated with caring for her child. A paternity action may also be brought by the biological father, usually in order to obtain legal custody (the right to participate in significant decisions on behalf the child), physical custody (the right to organize and administer the day to day residential care of a child), or at least the right to visit with the child.
The establishment of paternity is also very important to a child. The child not only benefits emotionally from knowing the identity of his or her father, but he or she will also benefit from legal and economic rights, such as child support and inheritance.
At The Buncher Law Corporation, our divorce attorneys can explain the legal issues involved in a paternity action. The task of establishing paternity has become easier today, but the laws are much more complex. Our attorneys are familiar with the laws. We are experienced in representing mothers and fathers in parentage actions.
How Paternity Is Established
Paternity is increasingly easier to establish due the advancement of technology via DNA testing. This can be done quickly and painlessly via DNA comparison of a swab sample of the cells from inside the father's and child's cheeks. A blood test can also be used to prove paternity.
Other evidence can also be introduced to help establish paternity, such as:
- Testimony about sexual relations between the parties
- Evidence of an intimate relationship between the parties during pregnancy
- The designation of the father on the birth certificate
- Reference by the alleged father in postcards, etc. to the child as the child's "daddy"
- The provision of gifts by the alleged father to the child
Treating Your Case as Our Own
In some instances under California law, a non-biological parent (even of the same sex) may be legally declared to be the child's parent with responsibility for child support. Furthermore, in some instances a grandparent or other person who has been caring for the child as their own (in a guardianship action) may be granted custody and/or visitation rights. At The Buncher Law Corporation, we represent all parties involved in paternity actions. We are committed to obtaining the best possible results and treating your case is if it were our own.