In California, paternity law can be complicated and is not always predictable to laypeople. One such area is when the law will assume that a man is the father even if the child is not biologically his.
One circumstance in which the law assumes that a certain man is the father of a child is when the man is married to the mother and the child is born during the marriage. Another circumstance is when a man has been living with the mother and child as a family and the man has promptly shown commitment to the child.
If neither of these sets of facts aligns with your scenario, then you likely will be required to establish paternity through the courts.
Given these laws, a man with no biological tie to the child could still be required to pay child support and could still be able to get visitation as long as he has been acting as a father and living with the mother.
While some people question the wisdom behind this law, it does perform important functions. Namely, it keeps together a family that has been acting as a familial unit. The state seeks to treat such a group of people as a family if they have been acting as a family from the birth of the child.
Interestingly, because of the ways paternity laws operate, a child could have more than one presumed father. A court can recognize more than two legal parents if recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to the child.
Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?
California law gives several reasons why establishing paternity is important. Paternity gives children equal rights and access to benefits such as social security, health insurance, survivors’ benefits, military benefits and inheritance rights. Additionally, knowledge of family medical history is often needed for medical diagnosis and treatment. Lastly, paternity is important to a child’s development and sense of self.
Call a San Jose Paternity Lawyer
If you have questions regarding your child’s paternity, you should seek qualified legal counsel. There are many nuances to paternity law that might apply to your case. Failing to properly establish paternity or failing to contest an assumption of paternity can have lifelong consequences. Our firm has helped many paternity law clients. Contact the knowledgeable San Jose, CA paternity attorney at Dominion Law Group, LLP at 408-288-5592 today.