Newport Beach Paternity Attorney

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Newport Beach Paternity Lawyer

Newport Family Law & Mediation Group can assist you in obtaining temporary and permanent guardianship of a minor child or children.

Individuals looking for a Newport Beach paternity lawyer are often in the midst of large relational shifts, dealing with legal decisions that can impact the rest of their lives. Like most family law cases, paternity cases can be complicated and emotionally loaded. Those engaged in paternity case matters may be dealing with the emotional strain of a divorce, be concerned about finances, or be worried about what role they will be allowed to, or be forced to, play in a child’s life.

When looking for a paternity attorney, it is important to find a law firm that can be trusted, not only based on their experience but also because they thoroughly understand the type of challenges and questions you are facing. Newport Family Law & Mediation Group focuses on family law, including paternity law, which means that our years of practice allow us to support you in the middle of complex family cases.

We want you to feel heard, to have your voice represented, and to be more confident as you navigate your case with a paternity lawyer.

Newport Beach Paternity Lawyer

What Are Paternity Cases?

Paternity cases are as varied as the families and individuals that go through them. There are many reasons a family lawyer’s services may be called upon, such as:

  • A father seeking to establish legal paternity in order to gain visitation rights
  • A father trying to disestablish himself as the biological father to stop having to pay child support.
  • A mother trying to establish paternity to get the child’s father to pay child support
  • A child seeking to establish paternity to obtain some kind of benefit from their biological father
  • Government agencies, particularly those who provide support to mothers and children, seeking to establish paternity and obtain child support for a child

How Can Establishing Paternity Benefit Children?

There are reasons to establish paternity beyond custody or child support. Parents want what is right for their children, and children benefit from knowing who their parents are.

Establishing paternity allows children to:

  • Grow up knowing who their parents are
  • Have documentation with both parents’ information
  • Access family medical records that may be life-saving
  • Receive health insurance through either parent
  • Inherit from either parent
  • Have increased financial support
  • Receive social security or veteran’s benefits, where applicable

How Does Establishing Paternity Benefit Parents?

Establishing paternity can benefit both parents, as it can give both parents rights and provide them with support. Paternity can allow both parents to spend time with their child or children, as well as build a relationship with said child. Establishing paternity also can allow the custodial parent to receive financial support from the non-custodial parent, which benefits both parent and child.

How Does Establishing Paternity Work?

Paternity can be established in several ways. Generally, once a child is born, a father’s name is requested for the birth certificate. That is the legal father of the child. If that paternity is questioned, there can be other avenues to prove who the parent is. It may or may not include genetic testing, depending on the situation.

Ways to establish paternity:

  • If a couple is married, it is typically assumed that the husband has legal paternity
  • If a couple signs a Declaration of Paternity at the child’s birth, then both parties will be listed on the birth certificate
  • If a couple signs a Declaration of Paternity after the child’s birth, a new birth certificate can be created
  • If none of the previously mentioned options are possible or if there is disagreement about the established paternity, then working with a paternity lawyer is the safest way to navigate establishing paternity with the court

What Is A Declaration of Paternity?

A Declaration of Paternity is a document establishing who a child’s biological father is in cases where the man and woman are not married. The document may be signed in the hospital at the time of birth; otherwise, the couple can sign a Declaration of Paternity in front of a notary public and mail it in. This document gives the father rights and responsibilities toward the child.

Why Do I Need A Paternity Lawyer?

Ideally, all parties involved in a paternity case would smoothly sort out and agree on biological paternity, visitation rights, child custody, and child support and then reach a conclusion that is healthy for all parties involved. In reality, this can get complicated for a number of reasons:

  • If a genetic test is needed to establish paternity and one party is unwilling to cooperate
  • If domestic violence is occurring in the partnership
  • If paternity is being established in the midst of a custody battle
  • If emotions run high and parties are unable to have civil conversation or make headway on their own

For these reasons and more, having an experienced and established family lawyer can make a big difference in navigating any paternity case.

Paternity Law FAQs

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Paternity in California?

A: At this time, there is no statute of limitations on paternity in California. If a man is proven to be the biological father, then he assumes the legal rights and responsibilities of paternity at that time. If, however, the paternity case was filed outside of California, there may be an applicable statute of limitations.

Q: How Long Does a Man Have to Establish Paternity in California?

A: A man has until three years after the child’s 18th birthday to establish paternity, although there may be reasons to try and do it earlier. If a man wants a relationship with the child, wants to receive custody rights, or generally wants to participate in making decisions for the child, establishing paternity early should be considered.

Q: Does the Father Have Rights if He Signs the Birth Certificate in California?

A: Yes. Signing the birth certificate gives the father both rights and responsibilities in California. If a man’s name is on a child’s birth certificate, he has legally established paternity. This is true for both a married and an unmarried man, even without having done a genetic test to prove if the man is the biological father.

Q: What Are the Parental Rights in California?

A: Parental rights in California include the right to move residences and bring the child with them, the right to services and earnings of the unemancipated minor child, and generally to make decisions for the child. Individuals with parental rights can be involved in making decisions about a child’s health, schooling, religious involvement, hobbies, and other day-to-day decisions.

Get In Touch With Our Family Law Paternity Lawyers

Whatever your particular situation may be, we all need as much support as possible when we navigate situations that are unfamiliar or overwhelming to us. Some paternity and family law cases may be fairly simple, with all parties being amenable to each other’s requests, while others may be strenuous and drawn out.

We at Newport Family Law & Mediation Group want to be that support for you. If you, or someone close to you, needs professional advocacy and experienced help, we hope you will consider and reach out to our dedicated legal team in Newport Beach today.


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