At times paternity becomes an issue; this especially may occur when an unmarried mother gives birth to a child. Even if she knows who the father is, he may question whether the child is biologically his. Until paternity is determined a mother will have a difficult time gaining child support. If this is your dilemma, a San Diego family lawyer can help.
A father can acknowledge that the child is his by voluntarily signing a Declaration of Paternity. He can also declare paternity at the hospital before the child is born, or through the court system later.
If he believes he has cause to doubt his fatherhood, the mother will need to work with a support agency and the courts to require him to submit to a DNA test. A San Diego family lawyer can help in obtaining this approval. This test can be based on either blood or urine, but some jurisdictions are only prepared for blood DNA analysis. This test will determine definitively whether or not the man is the father.
If the child has not yet been born, or is under six months, it cannot be tested. The mother will have to wait until after the six months, during which time the court may grant temporary child support payments to her. If, once the test is completed, paternity results are negative, however, she will need to pay back this support.
If the mother is unable to collect child support she may be eligible for CalWORKS, a temporary assistance program. She may do this even before positive paternity is established.
A further complication can occur if the father lives out of state. Your San Diego family lawyer will assist, but ultimately a support agency will need to contact an agency in that state to ask for cooperation in having DNA testing performed.
Once the father’s paternity is established, he may enjoy certain rights to spend time with the child. Moreover, he can request work leave for the birth and care of a newborn. California became the first state to mandate paternity leave in 2004. In order to receive paternity leave payments he must file with the Employment Development Department.
Call for Legal Assistance
If you need help with establishing paternity, or have another family law concern, San Diego family lawyer may be able to assist. Call today at (619) 866-3756.