San Francisco and Marin County Paternity Lawyer

Paternity laws in San Francisco are complex. The process of determining paternity can be initiated by either the child’s mother or father. Paternity can also be established through DNA testing, which is often ordered by the court. These proceedings are commonly initiated as a precursor to filing a child support request.

There are many reasons why establishing paternity is important. Paternity establishes a legal relationship between a child and his or her father. This relationship gives the child the right to inherit from his or her father and receive financial support. Paternity also allows the child to have his or her father’s name on his or her birth certificate.

If you are seeking to establish paternity, it is important to consult with an experienced San Francisco paternity lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are also protected. Paternity lawyers can also assist with DNA testing and other matters related to establishing paternity.

Establishing Paternity in San Francisco and Marin County

Establishing paternity can be done in several ways, which all tie back to the status of the parents when the child is conceived and born. If you need more clarity on this subject, reach out to Warren Major LLP, family law attorney.

If Parents Were Married at the Time of Conception

Children “presumed” to be related to the husband: According to California Family Code $ 7540, if a wife is living with her husband and neither are sterile, any children conceived during that time are automatically presumed to be related to the marriage. If either party disagrees, they may request a court-ordered genetic test.

However, please note that the test must be requested within two years of the child’s birth (California Family Code § 7541(b).)

If Parents Were Unmarried at the Time of Conception

If the parents were not married when the child was conceived, California has a process in place pursuant to California Family Code $7570 et seq. A hospital administrator will give the man identified as the father by the mother a voluntary declaration of paternity form. If he signs and files this form with the State Department of Child Support Services, his paternity is established, and it also has the same effect as if a court had issued a judgment saying he’s the father.

Court Ordered Genetic Testing

If paternity is a relevant fact in a civil action, the court must order the alleged father to submit to genetic testing on the motion of any party. The request for genetic testing must be made before the hearing, but ‘reasonable’ time will be decided at the discretion of the court.

The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) states that the existence of a father-child relationship may be established via judicial action. In a parentage action, the court will most likely order DNA testing.

Defending a Paternity Action

If, indeed, you are not the father of the child, there are a few paternity actions you can take.

  • If at the time of conception, you were married and living with your wife, you could theoretically offer proof that impotency or sterility prevented paternity. If successful, then the paternity action would be defeated. And child support would not be required.
  • Another method to obtain your child’s paternity results is by requesting genetic testing. But you must make this request within two years of the child’s birth.

Speak to San Francisco and Marin County Lawyers at Warren Major LLP

Warren Major LLP has nearly 20 years of combined experience helping San Francisco families with paternity actions. No matter your goals, Warren Major LLP can help. Contact us today!


Warren Major LLP

101 Lucas Valley Road
Suite 362,
San Rafael, CA 94903
United States (US)
Phone: (415) 286-5440


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