Leon F. Bennett, Esq.
Ventura County and Los Angeles Paternity Law
Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. Contrary to common belief, when a man’s name is written on a child’s birth certificate as the father, this doesn’t establish paternity. In fact, a mother may list anyone whom she believes is the father. Also contrary to popular belief, a DNA test is not the only way paternity can be established. The Law Offices of Leon F. Bennett can guide you through the paternity puzzle to make sure your child is protected.
Paternity laws in California seek to establish the identity of a child’s biological father to create accountability in providing for and raising the child under the most healthy circumstances. But there are many dramatic sides to paternity law as some males want to assert their fatherly parentage to actively be a part of that child’s life; while others insist they are not the biological father and should not be burdened with ongoing financial support. Establishing paternity will also help ease a settlement in the unfortunate event of child custody or child support issues down the road.
For the mother, paternity determinations secure financial support from the father. The mother may also be required to share custody with the father or allow for visitation time.
A man who is legally established to be a child’s father is held accountable for his share of support and responsibility. If the father is unwilling to support the child voluntarily, he can be compelled to do so after a successful paternity suit. If the child was born out of wedlock and the mother wishes to give the child up for adoption, she will be unable to do so if the father asserts paternity and refuses his consent. A father claiming paternity also gains custody and visitation rights to the child.
Most importantly is the security and well-being of the child or children involved. For a child, the legal significance of paternity is the establishment of financial support from the father. The child gains the right to receive shelter and aid from his or her father, as well as the right to inherit and the right to access personal information about the known health risks and profiles of the paternal family.
Establishing paternity is the first step in determining a father’s legal obligations. Whether you’re trying to establish paternity or whether you think you have no legal obligations to a child, it’s important to call a qualified family law expert to learn more about the laws in California that dictate paternity.