Reasons To Establish Paternity For Your Children
When a child is born, if his or her parents are not legally married, legal paternity must be established. Depending on the circumstances of the parents at and after the time of birth, there are a number of options for establishing paternity.
At Ruben Law Firm, our partners and associates have extensive experience acting as a client’s paternity lawyer. San Francisco, California, is the area from which we draw many of our clients; however, we also serve paternity clients in Marin County, San Mateo County, Santa Cruz County and Orange County.
Why Paternity Matters
Children typically benefit when both parents wish to be involved in their life. Not only do they gain from an emotional connection to the parent, if a person is named as a legal parent, the child also gains the following benefits:
- Names of both parents on the birth certificate
- Access to family medical records and history
- The right of inheritance from that parent as well as access to Social Security and veterans benefits
A parent who is recognized through a paternity ruling may ask for custody or visitation rights. They are also responsible for providing child support, half of the child care costs incurred by the other (custodial) parent and half the health insurance costs for that child.
What If Determining My Child’s Parentage Is Complicated?
Determining the parents of a child may not always be straightforward. That is why it is essential that you hire a lawyer who knows California family law and all the possibilities that relate to your case.
When you work with an attorney with our firm, we can help you establish parentage through a voluntary Declaration of Paternity or by obtaining a court order to have DNA tests performed to verify the parental relationship. We can also assist you in situations involving a dispute over parentage, establishing parentage for same-sex couples with children or in cases where more than two legal parents may ultimately be identified.