The Parental Rights and Responsibilities of Legal Fathers
Even when parents aren't married, children benefit immeasurably by receiving continued support from and contact with their fathers. But absent a legal paternity determination, unmarried fathers have no right to see their children and no obligation to pay child support.
If you would like to discuss legal paternity with a lawyer at Susan L. Jeffries & Associates, call us today at 866-921-9692 or contact us online. We can give you a clear understanding of your rights and options, and we will help you make informed decisions about how best to proceed.
Family law attorney Susan L. Jeffries & Associates was named "Best Lawyer" in the East Bay by the Alameda Times Star from 1993 to 2003. To learn why, see "What Makes Us the Best?"
Do You Need to Establish Paternity?
Whenever a child is born to a mother who is married, the law automatically presumes that the mother's husband is also the child's father. Paternity is only called into question when a child is born out of wedlock.
If the two parents are certain who the father is, and if both want the biological father to have legal paternity, then he can sign a form with the court that will officially recognize him as the child's father.
If there is any disagreement as to who the real father is, the matter can be resolved through DNA testing.
The Benefits of Establishing Legal Paternity
Everyone involved — the mother, the father and the child — can benefit when legal paternity is established. Mothers can receive assistance raising the child in the form of child support payments. Fathers gain the right to spend time with their children through a child custody and visitation arrangement.
Children benefit because they know without a doubt who their real father is. Not only does this help them form a better sense of identity, it also helps their doctors know if they are at risk for any hereditary health conditions. In addition, it allows them to be covered under their father's health insurance.
If you have questions about paternity, you can have them answered during an initial consultation with an attorney at Susan L. Jeffries & Associates. Call today at 866-921-9692 or contact us through e-mail to schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Alameda, California, and we represent clients throughout Oakland and the East Bay.