Sound Advice for Unmarried Parents Seeking Paternal Rights
Unmarried parents face special challenges — financial, emotional and legal. There is no “common law” marriage in California. So although a couple has children together, this does not necessarily entitle them to the parental rights of married couples. Additionally, the separation of a child’s unmarried parents can be just as difficult and confusing as two divorcing parents.
If the parents of a child were not married when the mother became pregnant or when the child was born, the child does not have a legal father until parentage is established. So even if a father can prove he is the biological father of a child, if he was never married to the mother, he does not legally have any rights or responsibilities for the child. For that, your parentage must be legally established. Establishing parentage requires obtaining a court order or signing an official declaration of parentage or paternity.
It’s always best if unmarried separating parents can agree amicably on a plan for sharing access to their children. Many parents use mediation to develop a Child Custody and Visitation Agreement. Mediation is a very effective way of jointly reaching this important decision. The attorneys at Warren Major LLP can provide sound legal guidance to help you reach a fair and equitable Child Custody and Visitation Agreement through mediation.
Establishing parental rights through the court
If your situation is contentious with your soon-to-be ex-partner, you may need to defend your right to spend time with you children in court. You’ll have to establish parentage for your child before child custody and visitation will be ordered by a judge.
If you are seeking child support for your child and the father does not admit that he is the parent, the court may order both of you and your child to submit to genetic testing.
Whatever your paternity objectives, the highly regarded family law attorneys at Warren Major LLP will advocate strongly and skillfully on your behalf in and out of the courtroom.
Please contact us to discuss your paternity rights situation.
Warren Major LLP