Request To Establish Parentage

A Request to Establish Parentage or “Paternity Action” is a request have a court formally determine that a person is the Mother and Father of the minor child or children. When two parents are not married, one parent files a Request to Establish Parentage to determine parentage and to establish other orders including, without limitation, a reimbursement for child birth expenses, child custody, visitation, and support.

The “Parent and Child Relationship” is defined as “the legal relationship existing between a child and the child’s natural or adoptive parents incident to which the law confers or imposes rights, privileges, duties and obligations. The terms includes the mother and child relationship, and the father and child relationship [Family Code section 7601].”

Conclusive Presumption as child of marriage: Pursuant to Family Code section 7540, “…the child of a wife cohabiting with her husband, who is not impotent or sterile, is conclusively presumed to be a child of the marriage.” “Cohabiting” is defined as living together in the same dwelling and making a home together, ostensibly as husband and wife [Kusior v. Silver, (1960), 54 Cal.2d 603, 609-614].

Hypothetically, if during your marriage your wife has an affair, and she gets pregnant by the person with whom she was having an affair, under section 7540, there is a conclusive presumption that you are the child’s father. Thus, in the event that you seek to end your marriage, you could be liable for child support for a child that is technically not biologically yours.

For additional information regarding how to establish parentage, contact Newport Family Law & Mediation Group (949) 769-7040.

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